Channel Islands National Park seeks business opportunities for Santa Rosa Island

The winning bidder could bring a rustic hotel, food services or a campground to Main Ranch, which is at the island’s Bechers Bay.

VENTURA—Santa Rosa Island, which is part of the Channel Islands National Park network, is open for business.

Officials with the Channel Islands National Park announced they are accepting proposals for a potential business opportunity at Santa Rosa Island’s historic Main Ranch. The park is specifically soliciting a Request for Expressions of Interest, or RFEI, which could result in the building of rustic lodging, campground or dining options.

The visitor-serving development would be located at Bechers Bay. Main Ranch occupies more than 32 acres of “corrals, pastures, historic structures and scenic beauty” at Bechers Bay, according to Channel Islands National Park staff.

“Leasing opportunities may include occupancy of ten structures and land areas, including the historic Ranch House, Old Schoolhouse, Horse Barn, Generator Barn, and the non-historic Bunkhouse,” Channel Islands National Park staff said in a released statement. “The park is also receptive to proposals that include providing vehicle transportation for visitors to access hiking trails and backcountry areas.”

The RFEI would help national park staff develop the next step in the political process, which would be Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP would likely be issued in the fall of 2021, according to national park staff.

Whoever wins the bid would be awarded a contract, which would likely start in the spring of 2024. The contract term would last up to 60 years, national park staff stated.

“This exciting and unprecedented leasing opportunity will fulfil the vision of the park, as outlined in the park’s 2015 General Management Plan. We look forward to seeing the proposals envisioned,” Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley said in a released statement.

Those planning to submit an RFEI would have to do so by 11:50 p.m., Pacific Time, Feb. 24, 2021. Proposals should be mailed to Channel Islands National Park, attention Commercial Services, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, California 93001.

Potential applicants who have questions about the process should reach out to John Hansen, the national park’s concessions specialist, by Jan. 25, 2020. He can be contacted via email at john_hansen@nps.gov.

The RFEI can be viewed online at nps.gov/chis/getinvolved/dobusinesswithus.htm.

Information about the leasing site can be viewed online at nps.gov/chis/getinvolved/leasing.htm.

Santa Rosa Island, which measures 15 miles long by 10 miles wide and is 53,051 acres in size, is the second largest land mass within the Channel Islands network. The island, according to national park staff, is defined by rolling hills, deep canyons, a coastal lagoon, and beaches adorned with sand dunes.

“For thousands of years unusual animals and plants have made this wind-swept island their home. Flightless geese, giant mice, and pygmy mammoths are now extinct, while the island fox, spotted skunk, and Torrey pine still live here,” national park staff said. “The Chumash and their ancestors lived here for over 13,000 years. Ranchers raised sheep and cattle from 1844 to 1998. The US military used the island from 1943 through 1963. The National Park Service has made great efforts to preserve and protect island resources and restore native species.”

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One thought on “Channel Islands National Park seeks business opportunities for Santa Rosa Island

  • Abilio Ramos

    How sad they want to develop the island after kicking out the original orders through eminent domain …shame on them



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