The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced the decision to pursue the privatization of its Food and Retail operation at the Cape May – Lewes Ferry (CMLF). The transition process, which will include an open house for interested private operators and a proposal solicitation, is expected to take up to two (2) years. The goal is to contract with an established hospitality operator by spring 2013.
Over the past three years, the concession business, which had an operating budget of $4.1 million in 2010, has sustained an operating deficit of at least $600,000 annually. With a proven hospitality operator, the DRBA expects to realize financial benefits not only through revenue sharing with the business partner, but also through the absence of expenditures associated with its Food and Retail operation.
This summer, the DRBA plans to host an open house for interested operators so these companies can observe the ferry service during peak season. Following the open house, the DRBA will begin drafting a proposal solicitation, which will be issued in the fall of 2011.