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DRBA Issues Solicitation for Cape May – Lewes Ferry’s Hospitality Business
Submissions Due on May 31, 2012
 
(New Castle, DE) Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials issued the formal solicitation document to private hospitality operators for the management of the Cape May – Lewes Ferry’s (CMLF) food, beverage and retail businesses. The solicitation document can be found at www.cmlfconcessions.com. The DRBA’s goal is to contract with an established hospitality operator by spring 2013. 
 
A pre-submission meeting is scheduled for March 6, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in the Gallery of the Cape May ferry terminal.   According to Jim Walls, Chief Operations Officer for the DRBA, the Authority is looking for a hospitality partner who can consistently deliver a superior customer experience to the CMLF passengers and guests. “We intentionally structured the solicitation to allow prospective hospitality operators to be flexible and innovative with their submissions,” Walls said. “The CMLF is very important to the tourism economy of the resort communities on both sides of the Delaware Bay and we want to make sure the customer experience is the best it can be.”
 
Walls noted that the main goals of the solicitation are to partner with the private sector hospitality industry to enhance the customer experience of CMLF passengers and guests, and to realize financial benefits not only through revenue sharing with the business partner, but also through the absence of expenditures associated with the concession operation. The DRBA will also work with the CMLF food and retail employees to make the transition process as smooth as possible.
 
In August 2011, the DRBA held “Open House” events that provided interested hospitality operators with the opportunity to observe current operations within the terminals and aboard the ferry vessels during the peak summer season. “We received some great feedback and information from the 34 hospitality representatives who attended,” Walls said. “These sessions were instrumental in the development of our solicitation.”
 
About the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry (CMLF) is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962.  The CMLF is open year-round and has carried more than 40 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2010, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 300,000 vehicles and had nearly 1 million visitors.  For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.CMLF.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779.

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