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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 16, 2014

Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property


PART 51—CONCESSION CONTRACTS


Contents

Subpart A—Authority and Purpose

§51.1   What does this part cover?
§51.2   What is the policy underlying concessions contracts?

Subpart B—General Definitions

§51.3   How are terms defined in this part?

Subpart C—Solicitation, Selection and Award Procedures

§51.4   How will the Director invite the general public to apply for the award of a concession contract?
§51.5   What information will the prospectus include?
§51.6   Will a concession contract be developed for a particular potential offeror?
§51.7   How will information be provided to a potential offeror after the prospectus is issued?
§51.8   Where will the Director publish the notice of availability of the prospectus?
§51.9   How do I get a copy of the prospectus?
§51.10   How long will I have to submit my proposal?
§51.11   May the Director amend, extend, or cancel a prospectus or solicitation?
§51.12   Are there any other additional procedures that I must follow to apply for a concession contract?
§51.13   When will the Director determine if proposals are responsive?
§51.14   What happens if no responsive proposals are submitted?
§51.15   May I clarify, amend or supplement my proposal after it is submitted?
§51.16   How will the Director evaluate proposals and select the best one?
§51.17   What are the selection factors?
§51.18   When must the Director reject a proposal?
§51.19   Must the Director award the concession contract that is set forth in the prospectus?
§51.20   Does this part limit the authority of the Director?
§51.21   When must the selected offeror execute the concession contract?
§51.22   When may the Director award the concession contract?

Subpart D—Non-Competitive Award of Concession Contracts

§51.23   May the Director extend an existing concession contract without a public solicitation?
§51.24   May the Director award a temporary concession contract without a public solicitation?
§51.25   Are there any other circumstances in which the Director may award a concession contract without public solicitation?

Subpart E—Right of Preference to a New Concession Contract

§51.26   What solicitation, selection and award procedures apply when a preferred offeror exists?
§51.27   Who is a preferred offeror and what are a preferred offeror's rights to the award of a new concession contract?
§51.28   When will the Director determine whether a concessioner is a preferred offeror?
§51.29   How will I know when a preferred offeror exists?
§51.30   What must a preferred offeror do before it may exercise a right of preference?
§51.31   What happens if a preferred offeror does not submit a responsive proposal?
§51.32   What is the process if the Director determines that the best responsive proposal was not submitted by a preferred offeror?
§51.33   What if a preferred offeror does not timely amend its proposal to meet the terms and conditions of the best proposal?
§51.34   What will the Director do if a selected preferred offeror does not timely execute the new concession contract?
§51.35   What happens to a right of preference if the Director receives no responsive proposals?

Subpart F—Determining a Preferred Offeror

§51.36   What conditions must be met before the Director determines that a concessioner is a preferred offeror?
§51.37   How will the Director determine that a new concession contract is a qualified concession contract?
§51.38   How will the Director determine that a concession contract is an outfitter and guide concession contract?
§51.39   What are some examples of outfitter and guide concession contracts?
§51.40   What are some factors to be considered in determining that outfitter and guide operations are conducted in the backcountry?
§51.41   If the concession contract grants a compensable interest in real property improvements, will the Director find that the concession contract is an outfitter and guide concession contract?
§51.42   Are there exceptions to this compensable interest prohibition?
§51.43   Who will make the determination that a concession contract is an outfitter and guide contract?
§51.44   How will the Director determine if a concessioner was satisfactory for purposes of a right of preference?
§51.45   Will a concessioner that has operated for less than the entire term of a concession contract be considered a satisfactory operator?
§51.46   May the Director determine that a concessioner has not operated satisfactorily after a prospectus is issued?
§51.47   How does a person appeal a decision of the Director that a concessioner is or is not a preferred offeror?
§51.48   What happens to a right of preference in the event of termination of a concession contract for unsatisfactory performance or other breach?
§51.49   May the Director grant a right of preference except in accordance with this part?
§51.50   Does the existence of a preferred offeror limit the authority of the Director to establish the terms of a concession contract?

Subpart G—Leasehold Surrender Interest

§51.51   What special terms must I know to understand leasehold surrender interest?
§51.52   How do I obtain a leasehold surrender interest?
§51.53   When may the Director authorize the construction of a capital improvement?
§51.54   What must a concessioner do before beginning to construct a capital improvement?
§51.55   What must a concessioner do after substantial completion of the capital improvement?
§51.56   How will the construction cost for purposes of leasehold surrender interest value be determined?
§51.57   How does a concessioner request arbitration of the construction cost of a capital improvement?
§51.58   What actions may or must the concessioner take with respect to a leasehold surrender interest?
§51.59   Will a leasehold surrender interest be extinguished by expiration or termination of a leasehold surrender interest concession contract or may it be taken for public use?
§51.60   How will a new concession contract awarded to an existing concessioner treat a leasehold surrender interest obtained under a prior concession contract?
§51.61   How is an existing concessioner who is not awarded a new concession contract paid for a leasehold surrender interest?
§51.62   What is the process to determine the leasehold surrender interest value when the concessioner does not seek or is not awarded a new concession contract?
§51.63   When a new concessioner pays a prior concessioner for a leasehold surrender interest, what is the leasehold surrender interest in the related capital improvements for purposes of a new concession contract?
§51.64   May the concessioner gain additional leasehold surrender interest by undertaking a major rehabilitation or adding to a structure in which the concessioner has a leasehold surrender interest?
§51.65   May the concessioner gain additional leasehold surrender interest by replacing a fixture in which the concessioner has a leasehold surrender interest?
§51.66   Under what conditions will a concessioner obtain a leasehold surrender interest in existing real property improvements in which no leasehold surrender interest exists?
§51.67   Will a concessioner obtain leasehold surrender interest as a result of repair and maintenance of real property improvements?

Subpart H—Possessory Interest

§51.68   If a concessioner under a 1965 Act concession contract is not awarded a new concession contract, how will a concessioner that has a possessory interest receive compensation for its possessory interest?
§51.69   What happens if there is a dispute between the new concessioner and a prior concessioner as to the value of the prior concessioner's possessory interest?
§51.70   If a concessioner under a 1965 Act concession contract is awarded a new concession contract, what happens to the concessioner's possessory interest?
§51.71   What is the process to be followed if there is a dispute between the prior concessioner and the Director as to the value of possessory interest?
§51.72   If a new concessioner is awarded the contract, what is the relationship between leasehold surrender interest and possessory interest?

Subpart I—Concession Contract Provisions

§51.73   What is the term of a concession contract?
§51.74   When may a concession contract be terminated by the Director?
§51.75   May the Director segment or split concession contracts?
§51.76   May the Director include in a concession contract or otherwise grant a concessioner a preferential right to provide new or additional visitor services?
§51.77   Will a concession contract provide a concessioner an exclusive right to provide visitor services?
§51.78   Will a concession contract require a franchise fee and will the franchise fee be subject to adjustment?
§51.79   May the Director waive payment of a franchise fee or other payments?
§51.80   How will the Director establish franchise fees for multiple outfitter and guide concession contracts in the same park area?
§51.81   May the Director include “special account” provisions in concession contracts?
§51.82   Are a concessioner's rates required to be reasonable and subject to approval by the Director?
§51.83   Sale of Native Handicrafts.

Subpart J—Assignment or Encumbrance of Concession Contracts

§51.84   What special terms must I know to understand this part?
§51.85   What assignments require the approval of the Director?
§51.86   What encumbrances require the approval of the Director?
§51.87   Does the concessioner have an unconditional right to receive the Director's approval of an assignment or encumbrance?
§51.88   What happens if an assignment or encumbrance is completed without the approval of the Director?
§51.89   What happens if there is a default on an encumbrance approved by the Director?
§51.90   How does the concessioner get the Director's approval before making an assignment or encumbrance?
§51.91   What information may the Director require in the application?
§51.92   What are standard proformas?
§51.93   If the transaction includes more that one concession contract, how must required information be provided?
§51.94   What information will the Director consider when deciding to approve a transaction?
§51.95   Does the Director's approval of an assignment or encumbrance include any representations of any nature?
§51.96   May the Director amend or extend a concession contract for the purpose of facilitating a transaction?
§51.97   May the Director open to renegotiation or modify the terms of a concession contract as a condition to the approval of a transaction?

Subpart K—Information and Access to Information

§51.98   What records must the concessioner keep and what access does the Director have to records?
§51.99   What access to concessioner records will the Comptroller General have?
§51.100   When will the Director make proposals and evaluation documents publicly available?

Subpart L—The Effect of the 1998 Act's Repeal of the 1965 Act

§51.101   Did the 1998 Act repeal the 1965 Act?
§51.102   What is the effect of the 1998 Act's repeal of the 1965 Act's preference in renewal?
§51.103   Severability.

Subpart M—Information Collection

§51.104   Have information collection procedures been followed?

Authority: The Act of August 25, 1916, as amended and supplemented, 16 U.S.C. 1 et seq., particularly, 16 U.S.C. 3 and Title IV of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-391).

Source: 65 FR 20668, Apr. 17, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—Authority and Purpose

§51.1   What does this part cover?

This part covers the solicitation, award, and administration of concession contracts. The Director solicits, awards and administers concession contracts on behalf of the Secretary under the authority of the Act of August 25, 1916, as amended and supplemented, 16 U.S.C. 1 et seq. and Title IV of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-391). The purpose of concession contracts is to authorize persons (concessioners) to provide visitor services in park areas. All concession contracts are to be consistent with the requirements of this part. In accordance with section 403 of the 1998 Act, the Director will utilize concession contracts to authorize the provision of visitor services in park areas, except as may otherwise be authorized by law. For example, the Director may enter into commercial use authorizations under section 418 of the 1998 Act and may enter into agreements with non-profit organizations for the sale of interpretive materials and conduct of interpretive programs for a fee or charge in park areas. In addition, the Director may, as part of an interpretive program agreement otherwise authorized by law, authorize a non-profit organization to provide incidental visitor services that are necessary for the conduct of the interpretive program. Nothing in this part amends, supersedes, or otherwise affects any provision of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.) relating to revenue-producing visitor services.

§51.2   What is the policy underlying concessions contracts?

It is the policy of the Congress and the Secretary that visitor services in park areas may be provided only under carefully controlled safeguards against unregulated and indiscriminate use so that visitation will not unduly impair park values and resources. Development of visitor services in park areas will be limited to locations that are consistent to the highest practicable degree with the preservation and conservation of the resources and values of the park area. It is also the policy of the Congress and the Secretary of the Interior that development of visitor services in park areas must be limited to those as are necessary and appropriate for public use and enjoyment of the park area in which they are located.

Subpart B—General Definitions

§51.3   How are terms defined in this part?

To understand this part, you must refer to these definitions, applicable in the singular or the plural, whenever these terms are used in this part:

The 1965 Act means Public Law 89-249, commonly known as the National Park Service Concession Policies Act of 1965.

A 1965 Act concession contract is a concession contract or permit entered into under the authority of the 1965 Act.

The 1998 Act means Title IV of Public Law 105-391.

The award of a concession contract is the establishment of a legally binding concession contract. It occurs only when the Director and a selected offeror both fully execute a concession contract.

A concession contract (or contract) means a binding written agreement between the Director and a concessioner entered under the authority of this part or the 1965 Act that authorizes the concessioner to provide certain visitor services within a park area under specified terms and conditions. Concession contracts are not contracts within the meaning of 41 U.S.C. 601 et seq. (the Contract Disputes Act) and are not service or procurement contracts within the meaning of statutes, regulations or policies that apply only to federal service contracts or other types of federal procurement actions. Concession contracts will contain such terms and conditions as are required by this part or law and as are otherwise appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of this part and the 1998 Act.

A concessioner is an individual, corporation, or other legally recognized entity that duly holds a concession contract.

Director means the Director of the National Park Service (acting on behalf of the Secretary), or an authorized representative of the Director, except where a particular official is specifically identified in this part. In circumstances where this part calls for an appeal to the Director, the appeal shall be considered by an official of higher authority than the official that made the disputed decision.

A franchise fee is the consideration paid to the Director by a concessioner for the privileges granted by a concession contract.

Offeror means an individual, corporation, or other legally recognized entity, including an existing concessioner, that submits a proposal for a concession contract. If the entity that is to be the concessioner is not formally in existence as of the time of submission of a proposal, a proposal must demonstrate that the individuals or organizations that intend to establish the entity that will become the concessioner have the ability and are legally obliged to cause the entity to be a qualified person as defined in this part. In addition, if the entity that will be the concessioner is not established at the time of submission of a proposal, the proposal must contain assurances satisfactory to the Director that the entity that will be the concessioner will be a qualified person as of the date of the award of the contract and otherwise have the ability to carry out the commitments made in the proposal.

Possessory interest means an interest in real property improvements as defined by the 1965 Act obtained by a concessioner under a possessory interest concession contract. Possessory interest, for the purposes of this part, does not include any interest in property in which no possessory interest, as defined by the 1965 Act, exists.

A possessory interest concession contract means a 1965 Act concession contract that provides the concessioner a possessory interest.

A preferred offeror is a concessioner that the Director determines is eligible to exercise a right of preference to the award of a qualified concession contract in accordance with this part.

A qualified concession contract is a new concession contract that the Director determines to be a qualified concession contract for right of preference purposes.

A qualified person is an individual, corporation or other legally recognized entity that the Director determines has the experience and financial ability to satisfactorily carry out the terms of a concession contract. This experience and financial ability includes, but is not limited to, the ability to protect and preserve the resources of the park area and the ability to provide satisfactory visitor services at reasonable rates to the public.

A responsive proposal means a timely submitted proposal that is determined by the Director as agreeing to all of the minimum requirements of the proposed concession contract and prospectus and as having provided the information required by the prospectus.

A right of preference is the preferential right of renewal set forth in Section 403(7)(C) of the 1998 Act which requires the Director to allow a preferred offeror the opportunity to match the terms and conditions of a competing responsive proposal that the Director has determined to be the best proposal for a qualified concession contract. A right of preference does not provide any rights of any nature to establish or negotiate the terms and conditions of a concession contract to which a right of preference may apply.

Visitor services means accommodations, facilities and services determined by the Director as necessary and appropriate for public use and enjoyment of a park area provided to park area visitors for a fee or charge by a person other than the Director. The fee or charge paid by the visitor may be direct or indirect as part of the provision of comprehensive visitor services (e.g., when a lodging concessioner may provide free transportation services to guests). Visitor services may include, but are not limited to, lodging, campgrounds, food service, merchandising, tours, recreational activities, guiding, transportation, and equipment rental. Visitor services also include the sale of interpretive materials or the conduct of interpretive programs for a fee or charge to visitors.

Subpart C—Solicitation, Selection and Award Procedures

§51.4   How will the Director invite the general public to apply for the award of a concession contract?

(a) The Director must award all concession contracts, except as otherwise expressly provided in this part, through a public solicitation process. The public solicitation process begins with the issuance of a prospectus. The prospectus will invite the general public to submit proposals for the contract. The prospectus will describe the terms and conditions of the concession contract to be awarded and the procedures to be followed in the selection of the best proposal.

(b) Except as provided under §51.47 (which calls for a final administrative decision on preferred offeror appeals prior to the selection of the best proposal) the terms, conditions and determinations of the prospectus and the terms and conditions of the proposed concession contract as described in the prospectus, including, without limitation, its minimum franchise fee, are not final until the concession contract is awarded. The Director will not issue a prospectus for a concession contract earlier than eighteen months prior to the expiration of a related existing concession contract.

§51.5   What information will the prospectus include?

The prospectus must include the following information:

(a) The minimum requirements of the concession contract. The minimum requirements of the concession contract, include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) The minimum acceptable franchise fee or other forms of consideration to the Government;

(2) The minimum visitor services that the concessioner is to be authorized to provide;

(3) The minimum capital investment, if any, that the concessioner must make;

(4) The minimum measures that the concessioner must take to ensure the protection, conservation, and preservation of the resources of the park area; and

(5) Any other minimum requirements that the new contract may specify, including, as appropriate and without limitation, measurable performance standards;

(b) The terms and conditions of a current concession contract, if any, relating to the visitor services to be provided, including all fees and other forms of compensation provided to the Director under such contract;

(c) A description of facilities and services, if any, that the Director may provide to the concessioner under the terms of the concession contract, including, but not limited to, public access, utilities and buildings;

(d) An estimate of the amount of any compensation due a current concessioner from a new concessioner under the terms of an existing or prior concession contract;

(e) A statement identifying each principal selection factor for proposals, including subfactors, if any, and secondary factors, if any, and the weight and relative importance of the principal and any secondary factors in the selection decision;

(f) Such other information related to the proposed concession contract as is provided to the Director pursuant to a concession contract or is otherwise available to the Director, as the Director determines is necessary to allow for the submission of competitive proposals. Among other such necessary information a prospectus will contain (when applicable) are the gross receipts of the current concession contract broken out by department for the three most recent years; franchise fees charged under the current concession contract for the three most recent years; merchandise inventories of the current concessioner for the three most recent years; and the depreciable fixed assets and net depreciable fixed assets of the current concessioner; and

(g) Identification of a preferred offeror for a qualified concession contract, if any, and, if a preferred offeror exists, a description of a right of preference to the award of the concession contract.

§51.6   Will a concession contract be developed for a particular potential offeror?

The terms and conditions of a concession contract must represent the requirements of the Director in accordance with the purposes of this part and must not be developed to accommodate the capabilities or limitations of any potential offeror. The Director must not provide a current concessioner or other person any information as to the content of a proposed or issued prospectus that is not available to the general public.

§51.7   How will information be provided to a potential offeror after the prospectus is issued?

Material information directly related to the prospectus and the concession contract (except when otherwise publicly available) that the Director provides to any potential offeror prior to the submission of proposals must be made available to all persons who have requested a copy of the prospectus.

§51.8   Where will the Director publish the notice of availability of the prospectus?

The Director will publish notice of the availability of the prospectus at least once in the Commerce Business Daily or in a similar publication if the Commerce Business Daily ceases to be published. The Director may also publish notices, if determined appropriate by the Director, electronically or in local or national newspapers or trade magazines.

§51.9   How do I get a copy of the prospectus?

The Director will make the prospectus available upon request to all interested persons. The Director may charge a reasonable fee for a prospectus, not to exceed printing, binding and mailing costs.

§51.10   How long will I have to submit my proposal?

The Director will allow an appropriate period for submission of proposals that is not less than 60 days unless the Director determines that a shorter time is appropriate in the circumstances of a particular solicitation. Proposals that are not timely submitted will not be considered by the Director.

§51.11   May the Director amend, extend, or cancel a prospectus or solicitation?

The Director may amend a prospectus and/or extend the submission date prior to the proposal due date. The Director may cancel a solicitation at any time prior to award of the concession contract if the Director determines in his discretion that this action is appropriate in the public interest. No offeror or other person will obtain compensable or other legal rights as a result of an amended, extended, canceled or resolicited solicitation for a concession contract.

§51.12   Are there any other additional procedures that I must follow to apply for a concession contract?

The Director may specify in a prospectus additional solicitation and/or selection procedures consistent with the requirements of this part in the interest of enhancing competition. Such additional procedures may include, but are not limited to, issuance of a two-phased prospectus—a qualifications phase and a proposal phase. The Director will incorporate simplified administrative requirements and procedures in prospectuses for concession contracts that the Director considers are likely to be awarded to a sole proprietorship or are likely to have annual gross receipts of less than $100,000. Such simplified requirements and procedures may include, as appropriate and without limitation, a reduced application package, a shorter proposal submission period, and a reduction of proposal information requirements.

§51.13   When will the Director determine if proposals are responsive?

The Director will determine if proposals are responsive or non-responsive prior to or as of the date of selection of the best proposal.

§51.14   What happens if no responsive proposals are submitted?

If no responsive proposals are submitted, the Director may cancel the solicitation, or, after cancellation, establish new contract requirements and issue a new prospectus.

§51.15   May I clarify, amend or supplement my proposal after it is submitted?

(a) The Director may request from any offeror who has submitted a timely proposal a written clarification of its proposal. Clarification refers to making clear any ambiguities that may have been contained in a proposal but does not include amendment or supplementation of a proposal. An offeror may not amend or supplement a proposal after the submission date unless requested by the Director to do so and the Director provides all offerors that submitted proposals a similar opportunity to amend or supplement their proposals. Permitted amendments must be limited to modifying particular aspects of proposals resulting from a general failure of offerors to understand particular requirements of a prospectus or a general failure of offerors to submit particular information required by a prospectus.

(b) A proposal may suggest changes to the terms and conditions of a proposed concession contract and still be considered as responsive so long as the suggested changes are not conditions to acceptance of the terms and conditions of the proposed concession contract. The fact that a proposal may suggest changes to the proposed concession contract does not mean that the Director may accept those changes without a resolicitation of the concession opportunity.

§51.16   How will the Director evaluate proposals and select the best one?

(a) The Director will apply the selection factors set forth in §51.17 by assessing each timely proposal under each of the selection factors on the basis of a narrative explanation, discussing any subfactors when applicable. For each selection factor, the Director will assign a score that reflects the determined merits of the proposal under the applicable selection factor and in comparison to the other proposals received, if any. The first four principal selection factors will be scored from zero to five. The fifth selection factor will be scored from zero to four (with a score of one for agreeing to the minimum franchise fee contained in the prospectus). The secondary factor set forth in §51.17(b)(1) will be scored from zero to three. Any additional secondary selection factors set forth in the prospectus will be scored as specified in the prospectus provided that the aggregate possible point score for all additional secondary selection factors may not exceed a total of three.

(b) The Director will then assign a cumulative point score to each proposal based on the assigned score for each selection factor.

(c) The responsive proposal with the highest cumulative point score will be selected by the Director as the best proposal. If two or more responsive proposals receive the same highest point score, the Director will select as the best proposal (from among the responsive proposals with the same highest point score), the responsive proposal that the Director determines on the basis of a narrative explanation will, on an overall basis, best achieve the purposes of this part. Consideration of revenue to the United States in this determination and in scoring proposals under principal selection factor five will be subordinate to the objectives of protecting, conserving, and preserving the resources of the park area and of providing necessary and appropriate visitor services to the public at reasonable rates.

§51.17   What are the selection factors?

(a) The five principal selection factors are:

(1) The responsiveness of the proposal to the objectives, as described in the prospectus, of protecting, conserving, and preserving resources of the park area;

(2) The responsiveness of the proposal to the objectives, as described in the prospectus, of providing necessary and appropriate visitor services at reasonable rates;

(3) The experience and related background of the offeror, including the past performance and expertise of the offeror in providing the same or similar visitor services as those to be provided under the concession contract;

(4) The financial capability of the offeror to carry out its proposal; and

(5) The amount of the proposed minimum franchise fee, if any, and/or other forms of financial consideration to the Director. However, consideration of revenue to the United States will be subordinate to the objectives of protecting, conserving, and preserving resources of the park area and of providing necessary and appropriate visitor services to the public at reasonable rates.

(b) The secondary selection factors are:

(1) The quality of the offeror's proposal to conduct its operations in a manner that furthers the protection, conservation and preservation of park area and other resources through environmental management programs and activities, including, without limitation, energy conservation, waste reduction, and recycling. A prospectus may exclude this secondary factor if the prospectus solicits proposals for a concession contract that is anticipated to have annual gross receipts of less than $100,000 and the activities that will be conducted under the contract are determined by the Director as likely to have only limited impacts on the resources of the park area; and

(2) Any other selection factors the Director may adopt in furtherance of the purposes of this part, including where appropriate and otherwise permitted by law, the extent to which a proposal calls for the employment of Indians (including Native Alaskans) and/or involvement of businesses owned by Indians, Indian tribes, Native Alaskans, or minority or women-owned businesses in operations under the proposed concession contract.

(c) A prospectus may include subfactors under each of the principal and secondary factors to describe specific elements of the selection factor.

§51.18   When must the Director reject a proposal?

The Director must reject any proposal received, regardless of the franchise fee offered, if the Director makes any of the following determinations: the offeror is not a qualified person as defined in this part; The offeror is not likely to provide satisfactory service; the proposal is not a responsive proposal as defined in this part; or, the proposal is not responsive to the objectives of protecting and preserving the resources of the park area and of providing necessary and appropriate services to the public at reasonable rates.

§51.19   Must the Director award the concession contract that is set forth in the prospectus?

Except for incorporating into the concession contract appropriate elements of the best proposal, the Director must not award a concession contract which materially amends or does not incorporate the terms and conditions of the concession contract as set forth in the prospectus.

§51.20   Does this part limit the authority of the Director?

Nothing in this part may be construed as limiting the authority of the Director at any time to determine whether to solicit or award a concession contract, to cancel a solicitation, or to terminate a concession contract in accordance with its terms.

§51.21   When must the selected offeror execute the concession contract?

The selected offeror must execute the concession contract promptly after selection of the best proposal and within the time established by the Director. If the selected offeror fails to execute the concession contract in this period, the Director may select another responsive proposal or may cancel the selection and resolicit the concession contract.

§51.22   When may the Director award the concession contract?

Before awarding a concession contract with anticipated annual gross receipts in excess of $5,000,000 or of more than 10 years in duration, or, pursuant to §51.24(b), the Director must submit the concession contract to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate. The Director must not award any such concession contract until 60 days after the submission. Award of these contracts may not be made without the Director's written approval. The Director may not delegate this approval except to a Deputy Director or an Associate Director. The Director may award a concession contract that is not subject to these or other special award requirements at any time after selection of the best proposal and execution of the concession contract by the offeror.

Subpart D—Non-Competitive Award of Concession Contracts

§51.23   May the Director extend an existing concession contract without a public solicitation?

Notwithstanding the public solicitation requirements of this part, the Director may award non-competitively an extension or extensions of an existing concession contract to the current concessioner for additional terms not to exceed three years in the aggregate, e.g., the Director may award one extension with a three year term, two consecutive extensions, one with a two year term and one with a one year term, or three consecutive extensions with a term of one year each. The Director may award such extensions only if the Director determines that the extension is necessary to avoid interruption of visitor services. Before determining to award such a contract extension, the Director must take all reasonable and appropriate steps to consider alternatives to avoid an interruption of visitor services. Further, the Director must publish notice in the Federal Register of the proposed extension at least 30 days in advance of the award of the extension (except in emergency situations).

§51.24   May the Director award a temporary concession contract without a public solicitation?

(a) Notwithstanding the public solicitation requirements of this part, the Director may award non-competitively a temporary concession contract or contracts for consecutive terms not to exceed three years in the aggregate, e.g., the Director may award one temporary contract with a three year term, two consecutive temporary contracts, one with a two year term and one with a one year term, or three consecutive temporary contracts with a term of one year each, to any qualified person for the conduct of particular visitor services in a park area if the Director determines that the award is necessary to avoid interruption of visitor services. Before determining to award a temporary concession contract, the Director must take all reasonable and appropriate steps to consider alternatives to avoid an interruption of visitor services. Further, the Director must publish notice in the Federal Register of the proposed temporary concession contract at least 30 days in advance of its award (except in emergency situations). A temporary concession contract may not be extended. A temporary concession contract may not be awarded to continue visitor services provided under an extended concession contract except as permitted by paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Notwithstanding the last sentence of paragraph (a) of this section, the Director may award a temporary concession contract for consecutive terms not to exceed three years in the aggregate to authorize the continuing conduct of visitor services that were conducted under a concession contract that was in effect as of November 13, 1998, and that either had been extended as of that date or was due to expire by December 31, 1998, and was subsequently extended. The Director must personally approve the award of a temporary concession contract in these circumstances and may do so only if the Director determines that the award is necessary to avoid interruption of visitor services and that all reasonable alternatives to the award of the temporary concession contract have been considered and found infeasible. The Director must publish a notice of his intention to award a temporary concession contract to a specified person under this paragraph and the reasons for the proposed award in the Federal Register at least 60 days before the temporary concession contract is awarded. In addition, the Director must notify the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives of the proposed award of a temporary concession contract under this paragraph at least 60 days before the temporary concession contract is awarded. A temporary concession contract awarded under the authority of this paragraph will be considered as a contract extension for purposes of determining the existence of a preferred offeror under §51.44.

(c) A concessioner holding a temporary concession contract will not be eligible for a right of preference to a qualified concession contract which replaces a temporary contract unless the concessioner holding the temporary concession contract was determined or was eligible to be determined a preferred offeror under the extended concession contract that was replaced by the temporary concession contract under paragraph (b) of this section.

§51.25   Are there any other circumstances in which the Director may award a concession contract without public solicitation?

Notwithstanding the public solicitation requirements of this part, the Director may award a concession contract non-competitively to any qualified person if the Director determines both that such an award is otherwise consistent with the requirements of this part and that extraordinary circumstances exist under which compelling and equitable considerations require the award of the concession contract to a particular qualified person in the public interest. Indisputable equitable considerations must be the determinant of such circumstances. The Director must publish a notice of his intention to award a concession contract to a specified person under these circumstances and the reasons for the proposed award in the Federal Register at least 60 days before the concession contract is awarded. In addition, the Director also must notify the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives at least 60 days before the contract is awarded. The Director must personally approve any such award and may only do so with the prior written approval of the Secretary.

Subpart E—Right of Preference to a New Concession Contract

§51.26   What solicitation, selection and award procedures apply when a preferred offeror exists?

The solicitation, selection and award procedures described in this part will apply to the solicitation, selection and award of contracts for which a preferred offeror exists, except as modified by this subpart, subpart F and other sections of this part related to preferred offerors and/or a right of preference.

§51.27   Who is a preferred offeror and what are a preferred offeror's rights to the award of a new concession contract?

(a) A preferred offeror is a concessioner that the Director has determined is eligible to exercise a right of preference to the award of a qualified new concession contract in accordance with this part.

(b) A right of preference is the right of a preferred offeror, if it submits a responsive proposal for a qualified concession contract, to match in accordance with the requirements of this part the terms and conditions of a competing proposal that the Director has determined to be the best responsive proposal.

§51.28   When will the Director determine whether a concessioner is a preferred offeror?

Subject to §§51.46 and 51.47, the Director will determine whether a concessioner is a preferred offeror in accordance with this part no later than the date of issuance of a prospectus for the applicable new concession contract.

§51.29   How will I know when a preferred offeror exists?

If the Director has determined that a preferred offeror exists for a qualified concession contract under this part, the Director will identify the preferred offeror in the applicable prospectus and describe the preferred offeror's right of preference.

§51.30   What must a preferred offeror do before it may exercise a right of preference?

A preferred offeror must submit a responsive proposal pursuant to the terms of an applicable prospectus for a qualified concession contract if the preferred offeror wishes to exercise a right of preference.

§51.31   What happens if a preferred offeror does not submit a responsive proposal?

If a preferred offeror fails to submit a responsive proposal, the offeror may not exercise a right of preference. The concession contract will be awarded to the offeror submitting the best responsive proposal.

§51.32   What is the process if the Director determines that the best responsive proposal was not submitted by a preferred offeror?

If the Director determines that a proposal other than the responsive proposal submitted by a preferred offeror is the best proposal submitted for a qualified concession contract, then the Director must advise the preferred offeror of the better terms and conditions of the best proposal and permit the preferred offeror to amend its proposal to match them. An amended proposal must match the better terms and conditions of the best proposal as determined by the Director. If the preferred offeror duly amends its proposal within the time period allowed by the Director, and the Director determines that the amended proposal matches the better terms and conditions of the best proposal, then the Director must select the preferred offeror for award of the contract upon the amended terms and conditions, subject to other applicable requirements of this part.

§51.33   What if a preferred offeror does not timely amend its proposal to meet the terms and conditions of the best proposal?

If a preferred offeror does not amend its proposal to meet the terms and conditions of the best proposal within the time period allowed by the Director, the Director will select for award of the contract the offeror that submitted the best responsive proposal.

§51.34   What will the Director do if a selected preferred offeror does not timely execute the new concession contract?

If a selected preferred offeror fails to execute the concession contract in the time period specified by the Director, the Director either will select for award of the concession contract the offeror that submitted the best responsive proposal, or will cancel the solicitation and may resolicit the concession contract but only without recognition of a preferred offeror or right of preference.

§51.35   What happens to a right of preference if the Director receives no responsive proposals?

If the Director receives no responsive proposals, including a responsive proposal from a preferred offeror, in response to a prospectus for a qualified concession contract for which a preferred offeror exists, the Director must cancel the solicitation and may resolicit the concession contract or take other appropriate action in accordance with this part. No right of preference will apply to a concession contract resolicited under this section unless the contract is resolicited upon terms and conditions materially more favorable to offerors than those contained in the original contract.

Subpart F—Determining a Preferred Offeror

§51.36   What conditions must be met before the Director determines that a concessioner is a preferred offeror?

A concessioner is a preferred offeror if the Director determines that the following conditions are met:

(a) The concessioner was a satisfactory concessioner during the term of its concession contract as determined under this part;

(b) The applicable new contract is a qualified concession contract as determined under this part; and

(c) If applicable, the concessioner's previous concession contract was an outfitter and guide concession contract as determined under this part.

§51.37   How will the Director determine that a new concession contract is a qualified concession contract?

A new concession contract is a qualified concession contract if the Director determines that:

(a) The new concession contract provides for the continuation of the visitor services authorized under a previous concession contract. The visitor services to be continued under the new contract may be expanded or diminished in scope but, for purposes of a qualified concession contract, may not materially differ in nature and type from those authorized under the previous concession contract; and either

(b) The new concession contract that is to replace the previous concession contract is estimated to result in, as determined by the Director, annual gross receipts of less than $500,000 in the first 12 months of its term; or

(c) The new concession contract is an outfitter and guide concession contract as described in this part.

§51.38   How will the Director determine that a concession contract is an outfitter and guide concession contract?

The Director will determine that a concession contract is an outfitter and guide concession contract if the Director determines that:

(a) The concession contract solely authorizes or requires (except for park area access purposes) the conduct of specialized outdoor recreation guide services in the backcountry of a park area; and

(b) The conduct of operations under the concession contract requires employment of specially trained and experienced guides to accompany park visitors who otherwise may not have the skills and equipment to engage in the activity and to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for these visitors.

§51.39   What are some examples of outfitter and guide concession contracts?

Outfitter and guide concession contracts may include, but are not limited to, concession contracts which solely authorize or require the guided conduct of river running, hunting (where otherwise lawful in a park area), fishing, horseback, camping, and mountaineering activities in the backcountry of a park area.

§51.40   What are some factors to be considered in determining that outfitter and guide operations are conducted in the backcountry?

Determinations as to whether outfitter and guide operations are conducted in the backcountry of a park area will be made on a park-by-park basis, taking into account the park area's particular geographic circumstances. Factors that generally may indicate that outfitter and guide operations are conducted in the backcountry of a park area include, without limitation, the fact that:

(a) The operations occur in areas remote from roads and developed areas;

(b) The operations are conducted within a designated natural area of a park area;

(c) The operations occur in areas where search and rescue support is not readily available; and

(d) All or a substantial portion of the operations occur in designated or proposed wilderness areas.

[65 FR 20668, Apr. 17, 2000; 65 FR 54155, Sept. 7, 2000]

§51.41   If the concession contract grants a compensable interest in real property improvements, will the Director find that the concession contract is an outfitter and guide concession contract?

The Director will find that a concession contract is not an outfitter and guide contract if the contract grants any compensable interest in real property improvements on lands owned by the United States within a park area.

§51.42   Are there exceptions to this compensable interest prohibition?

Two exceptions to this compensable interest prohibition exist:

(a) The prohibition will not apply to real property improvements lawfully constructed by a concessioner with the written approval of the Director in accordance with the express terms of a 1965 Act concession contract; and

(b) The prohibition will not apply to real property improvements constructed and owned in fee simple by a concessioner or owned in fee simple by a concessioner's predecessor before the land on which they were constructed was included within the boundaries of the applicable park area.

§51.43   Who will make the determination that a concession contract is an outfitter and guide contract?

Only a Deputy Director or an Associate Director will make the determination that a concession contract is or is not an outfitter and guide contract.

§51.44   How will the Director determine if a concessioner was satisfactory for purposes of a right of preference?

To be a satisfactory concessioner for the purposes of a right of preference, the Director must determine that the concessioner operated satisfactorily on an overall basis during the term of its applicable concession contract, including extensions of the contract. The Director will base this determination in consideration of annual evaluations made by the Director of the concessioner's performance under the terms of the applicable concession contract and other relevant facts and circumstances. The Director must determine that a concessioner did not operate satisfactorily on an overall basis during the term of a concession contract if the annual evaluations of the concessioner made subsequent to May 17, 2000 are less than satisfactory for any two or more years of operation under the concession contract.

§51.45   Will a concessioner that has operated for less than the entire term of a concession contract be considered a satisfactory operator?

The Director will determine that a concessioner has operated satisfactorily on an overall basis during the term of a concession contract only if the concessioner (including a new concessioner resulting from an assignment as described in this part, including, without limit, an assignment of a controlling interest in a concessioner as defined in this part) has or will have operated for more than two years under a concession contract with a term of more than five years or for one year under a concession contract with a term of five years or less. For purposes of this section, a new concessioner's first day of operation under an assigned concession contract (or as a new concessioner after approval of an assignment of a controlling interest in a concessioner) will be the day the Director approves the assignment pursuant to this part. If the Director determines that an assignment was compelled by circumstances beyond the control of the assigning concessioner, the Director may make an exception to the requirements of this section.

§51.46   May the Director determine that a concessioner has not operated satisfactorily after a prospectus is issued?

The Director may determine that a concessioner has not operated satisfactorily on an overall basis during the term of a current concession contract, and therefore is not a preferred offeror, after a prospectus for a new contract has been issued and prior to the selection of the best proposal submitted in response to a prospectus. In circumstances where the usual time of an annual evaluation of a concessioner's performance may not occur until after the selection of the best proposal submitted in response to a prospectus, the Director will make an annual performance evaluation based on a shortened operations period prior to the selection of the best proposal. Such shorter operations period, however, must encompass at least 6 months of operations from the previous annual performance evaluation. In the event the concessioner receives a second less than satisfactory annual evaluation (including, without limitation, one based on a shortened operations period), the prospectus must be amended to delete a right of preference or canceled and reissued without recognition of a right of preference to the new concession contract.

[65 FR 20668, Apr. 17, 2000; 65 FR 54155, Sept. 7, 2000]

§51.47   How does a person appeal a decision of the Director that a concessioner is or is not a preferred offeror?

(a) Except as stated in paragraph (b) of this section, any person may appeal to the Director a determination that a concessioner is or is not a preferred offeror for the purposes of a right of preference in renewal, including, without limitation, whether the applicable new concession contract is or is not a qualified concession contract as described in this part. This appeal must specify the grounds for the appeal and be received by the Director in writing no later than 30 days after the date of the determination. If applicable, the Director may extend the submission date for an appeal under this section upon request by the concessioner if the Director determines that good cause for an extension exists.

(b) The appeal provided by this section will not apply to determinations that a concessioner is not a preferred offeror as a consequence of two or more less than satisfactory annual evaluations as described in this part as the concessioner is given an opportunity to appeal those evaluations after they are made in accordance with applicable administrative guidelines.

(c) The Director must consider an appeal under this section personally or must authorize a Deputy Director or Associate Director to consider the appeal. The deciding official must prepare a written decision on the appeal, taking into account the content of the appeal, other written information available, and the requirements of this part. The written decision on the appeal must be issued by the date of selection of the best proposal submitted in response to a prospectus. If the appeal results in a concessioner being determined a preferred offeror, then the concessioner will have a right of preference to the qualified concession contract as described in and subject to the conditions of this part, including, but not limited to, the obligation to submit a responsive proposal pursuant to the terms of the related prospectus. If the appeal results in a determination that a concessioner is not a preferred offeror, no right of preference will apply to the award of the related concession contract and the award will be made in accordance with the requirements of this part.

(d) No person will be considered as having exhausted administrative remedies with respect to a determination by the Director that a concessioner is or is not a preferred offeror until the Director issues a written decision in response to an appeal submitted pursuant to this section, or, where applicable, pursuant to an appeal provided by the administrative guidelines described in paragraph (b) of this section. The decision of the Director is final agency action.

§51.48   What happens to a right of preference in the event of termination of a concession contract for unsatisfactory performance or other breach?

Nothing in this part will limit the right of the Director to terminate a concession contract pursuant to its terms at any time for less than satisfactory performance or otherwise. If a concession contract is terminated for less than satisfactory performance or other breach, the terminated concessioner, even if otherwise qualified, will not be eligible to be a preferred offeror. The fact that the Director may not have terminated a concession contract for less than satisfactory performance or other breach will not limit the authority of the Director to determine that a concessioner did not operate satisfactorily on an overall basis during the term of a concession contract.

§51.49   May the Director grant a right of preference except in accordance with this part?

The Director may not grant a concessioner or any other person a right of preference or any other form of entitlement of any nature to a new concession contract, except in accordance with this part or in accordance with 36 CFR part 13.

§51.50   Does the existence of a preferred offeror limit the authority of the Director to establish the terms of a concession contract?

The existence of a preferred offeror does not limit the authority of the Director to establish, in accordance with this part, the terms and conditions of a new concession contract, including, but not limited to, terms and conditions that modify the terms and conditions of a prior concession contract.

Subpart G—Leasehold Surrender Interest

§51.51   What special terms must I know to understand leasehold surrender interest?

To understand leasehold surrender interest, you must refer to these definitions, applicable in the singular or the plural, whenever these terms are used in this part:

Arbitration means binding arbitration conducted by an arbitration panel. All arbitration proceedings conducted under the authority of this subpart or subpart H of this part will utilize the following procedures unless otherwise agreed by the concessioner and the Director. One member of the arbitration panel will be selected by the concessioner, one member will be selected by the Director, and the third (neutral) member will be selected by the two party-appointed members. The neutral arbiter must be a licensed real estate appraiser. The expenses of the neutral arbiter and other associated common costs of the arbitration will be borne equally by the concessioner and the Director. The arbitration panel will adopt procedures that treat each party equally, give each party the opportunity to be heard, and give each party a fair opportunity to present its case. Adjudicative procedures are not encouraged but may be adopted by the panel if determined necessary in the circumstances of the dispute. Determinations must be made by a majority of the members of the panel and will be binding on the concessioner and the Director.

A capital improvement is a structure, fixture, or non-removable equipment provided by a concessioner pursuant to the terms of a concession contract and located on lands of the United States within a park area. A capital improvement does not include any interest in land. Additionally, a capital improvement does not include any interest in personal property of any kind including, but not limited to, vehicles, boats, barges, trailers, or other objects, regardless of size, unless an item of personal property becomes a fixture as defined in this part. Concession contracts may further describe, consistent with the limitations of this part and the 1998 Act, the nature and type of specific capital improvements in which a concessioner may obtain a leasehold surrender interest.

Construction cost of a capital improvement means the total of the incurred eligible direct and indirect costs necessary for constructing or installing the capital improvement that are capitalized by the concessioner in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP). The term “construct” or “construction” as used in this part also means “install” or “installation” of fixtures where applicable.

Consumer Price Index means the national “Consumer Price Index—All Urban Consumers” published by the Department of Labor. If this index ceases to be published, the Director will designate another regularly published cost-of-living index approximating the national Consumer Price Index.

Depreciation means the loss of value in a capital improvement as evidenced by the condition and prospective serviceability of the capital improvement in comparison with a new unit of like kind.

Eligible direct costs means the sum of all incurred capitalized costs (in amounts no higher than those prevailing in the locality of the project), that are necessary both for the construction of a capital improvement and are typically elements of a construction contract. Eligible direct costs may include, without limitation, the costs of (if capitalized in accordance with GAAP and in amounts no higher than those prevailing in the locality of the project): building permits; materials, products and equipment used in construction; labor used in construction; security during construction; contractor's shack and temporary fencing; material storage facilities; power line installation and utility costs during construction; performance bonds; and contractor's (and subcontractor's) profit and overhead (including job supervision, worker's compensation insurance and fire, liability, and unemployment insurance).

Eligible indirect costs means, except as provided in the last sentence of this definition, the sum of all other incurred capitalized costs (in amounts no higher than those prevailing in the locality of the project) necessary for the construction of a capital improvement. Eligible indirect costs may include, without limitation, the costs of (if capitalized in accordance with GAAP and in amounts no higher than those prevailing in the locality of the project): architectural and engineering fees for plans, plan checks; surveys to establish building lines and grades; environmental studies; if the project is financed, the points, fees or service charges and interest on construction loans; all risk insurance expenses and ad valorem taxes during construction. The actual capitalized administrative expenses (in amounts no higher than those prevailing in the locality of the project) of the concessioner for direct, on-site construction inspection are eligible indirect costs. Other administrative expenses of the concessioner are not eligible indirect costs.

Fixtures and non-removable equipment are manufactured items of personal property of independent form and utility necessary for the basic functioning of a structure that are affixed to and considered to be part of the structure such that title is with the Director as real property once installed. Fixtures and non-removable equipment do not include building materials (e.g., wallboard, flooring, concrete, cinder blocks, steel beams, studs, window frames, windows, rafters, roofing, framing, siding, lumber, insulation, wallpaper, paint, etc.). Because of their special circumstances, floating docks (but not other types of floating property) constructed by a concessioner pursuant to the terms of a leasehold surrender interest concession contract are considered to be non-removable equipment for leasehold surrender interest purposes only. Except as otherwise indicated in this part, the term “fixture” as used in this part includes the term “non-removable equipment.”

Leasehold surrender interest solely means a right to payment in accordance with this part for related capital improvements that a concessioner makes or provides within a park area on lands owned by the United States pursuant to this part and under the terms and conditions of an applicable concession contract. The existence of a leasehold surrender interest does not give the concessioner, or any other person, any right to conduct business in a park area, to utilize the related capital improvements, or to prevent the Director or another person from utilizing the related capital improvements. The existence of a leasehold surrender interest does not include any interest in the land on which the related capital improvements are located.

Leasehold surrender interest concession contract means a concession contract that provides for leasehold surrender interest in capital improvements.

Leasehold surrender interest value means the amount of compensation a concessioner is entitled to be paid for a leasehold surrender interest in capital improvements in accordance with this part. Unless otherwise provided by the terms of a leasehold surrender interest concession contract under the authority of section 405(a)(4) of the 1998 Act, leasehold surrender interest value in existing capital improvements is an amount equal to:

(1) The initial construction cost of the related capital improvement;

(2) Adjusted by (increased or decreased) the same percentage increase or decrease as the percentage increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index from the date the Director approves the substantial completion of the construction of the related capital improvement to the date of payment of the leasehold surrender interest value;

(3) Less depreciation of the related capital improvement on the basis of its condition as of the date of termination or expiration of the applicable leasehold surrender interest concession contract, or, if applicable, the date on which a concessioner ceases to utilize a related capital improvement (e.g., where the related capital improvement is taken out of service by the Director pursuant to the terms of a concession contract).

Major rehabilitation means a planned, comprehensive rehabilitation of an existing structure that:

(1) The Director approves in advance and determines is completed within 18 months from start of the rehabilitation work (unless a longer period of time is approved by the Director in special circumstances); and

(2) The construction cost of which exceeds fifty percent of the pre-rehabilitation value of the structure.

Pre-rehabilitation value of an existing structure means the replacement cost of the structure less depreciation.

Real property improvements means real property other than land, including, but not limited to, capital improvements.

Related capital improvement or related fixture means a capital improvement in which a concessioner has a leasehold surrender interest.

Replacement cost means the estimated cost to reconstruct, at current prices, an existing structure with utility equivalent to the existing structure, using modern materials and current standards, design and layout.

Structure means a building, dock, or similar edifice affixed to the land so as to be part of the real estate. A structure may include both constructed infrastructure (e.g., water, power and sewer lines) and constructed site improvements (e.g., paved roads, retaining walls, sidewalks, paved driveways, paved parking areas) that are permanently affixed to the land so as to be part of the real estate and that are in direct support of the use of a building, dock, or similar edifice. Landscaping that is integral to the construction of a structure is considered as part of a structure. Interior furnishings that are not fixtures are not part of a structure.

Substantial completion of a capital improvement means the condition of a capital improvement construction project when the project is substantially complete and ready for use and/or occupancy.

§51.52   How do I obtain a leasehold surrender interest?

Leasehold surrender interest concession contracts will contain appropriate leasehold surrender interest terms and conditions consistent with this part. A concessioner will obtain leasehold surrender interest in capital improvements constructed in accordance with this part and the leasehold surrender interest terms and conditions of an applicable leasehold surrender interest concession contract.

§51.53   When may the Director authorize the construction of a capital improvement?

The Director may only authorize or require a concessioner to construct capital improvements on park lands in accordance with this part and under the terms and conditions of a leasehold surrender interest concession contract for the conduct by the concessioner of visitor services, including, without limitation, the construction of capital improvements necessary for the conduct of visitor services.

§51.54   What must a concessioner do before beginning to construct a capital improvement?

Before beginning to construct any capital improvement, the concessioner must obtain written approval from the Director in accordance with the terms of its leasehold surrender interest concession contract. The request for approval must include appropriate plans and specifications for the capital improvement and any other information that the Director may specify. The request must also include an estimate of the total construction cost of the capital improvement. The estimate of the total construction cost must specify all elements of the cost in such detail as is necessary to permit the Director to determine that they are elements of construction cost as defined in this part. (The approval requirements of this and other sections of this part also apply to any change orders to a capital improvement project and to any additions to a structure or replacement of fixtures as described in this part.)

§51.55   What must a concessioner do after substantial completion of the capital improvement?

Upon substantial completion of the construction of a capital improvement in which the concessioner is to obtain a leasehold surrender interest, the concessioner must provide the Director a detailed construction report. The construction report must be supported by actual invoices of the capital improvement's construction cost together with, if requested by the Director, a written certification from a certified public accountant. The construction report must document, and any requested certification by the certified public accountant must certify, that all components of the construction cost were incurred and capitalized by the concessioner in accordance with GAAP, and that all components are eligible direct or indirect construction costs as defined in this part. Invoices for additional construction costs of elements of the project that were not completed as of the date of substantial completion may subsequently be submitted to the Director for inclusion in the project's construction cost.

§51.56   How will the construction cost for purposes of leasehold surrender interest value be determined?

After receiving the detailed construction report (and certification, if requested), from the concessioner, the Director will review the report, certification and other information as appropriate to determine that the reported construction cost is consistent with the construction cost approved by the Director in advance of the construction and that all costs included in the construction cost are eligible direct or indirect costs as defined in this part. The construction cost determined by the Director will be the final determination of construction cost for purposes of the leasehold surrender interest value in the related capital improvement unless the concessioner requests arbitration of the construction cost under §51.57. The Director may at any time review a construction cost determination (subject to arbitration under §51.57) if the Director has reason to believe that it was based on false, misleading or incomplete information.

[66 FR 35083, July 3, 2001]

§51.57   How does a concessioner request arbitration of the construction cost of a capital improvement?

If a concessioner requests arbitration of the construction cost of a capital improvement determined by the Director, the request must be made in writing to the Director within 3 months of the date of the Director's determination of construction cost under §51.56. The arbitration procedures are described in §51.51. The decision of the arbitration panel as to the construction cost of the capital improvement will be binding on the concessioner and the Director.

[66 FR 35083, July 3, 2001]

§51.58   What actions may or must the concessioner take with respect to a leasehold surrender interest?

The concessioner:

(a) May encumber a leasehold surrender interest in accordance with this part, but only for the purposes specified in this part;

(b) Where applicable, must transfer in accordance with this part its leasehold surrender interest in connection with any assignment, termination or expiration of the concession contract; and

(c) May relinquish or waive a leasehold surrender interest.

§51.59   Will a leasehold surrender interest be extinguished by expiration or termination of a leasehold surrender interest concession contract or may it be taken for public use?

A leasehold surrender interest may not be extinguished by the expiration or termination of a concession contract and a leasehold surrender interest may not be taken for public use except on payment of just compensation. Payment of leasehold surrender interest value pursuant to this part will constitute the payment of just compensation for leasehold surrender interest within the meaning of this part and for all other purposes.

§51.60   How will a new concession contract awarded to an existing concessioner treat a leasehold surrender interest obtained under a prior concession contract?

When a concessioner under a leasehold surrender interest concession contract is awarded a new concession contract by the Director, and the new concession contract continues a leasehold surrender interest in related capital improvements, then the concessioner's leasehold surrender interest value (established as of the date of expiration or termination of its prior concession contract) in the related capital improvements will be continued as the initial value (instead of initial construction cost) of the concessioner's leasehold surrender interest under the terms of the new concession contract. No compensation will be due the concessioner for its leasehold surrender interest or otherwise in these circumstances except as provided by this part.

§51.61   How is an existing concessioner who is not awarded a new concession contract paid for a leasehold surrender interest?

(a) When a concessioner is not awarded a new concession contract after expiration or termination of a leasehold surrender interest concession contract, or, the concessioner, prior to such termination or expiration, ceases to utilize under the terms of a concession contract capital improvements in which the concessioner has a leasehold surrender interest, the concessioner will be entitled to be paid its leasehold surrender interest value in the related capital improvements. The leasehold surrender interest will not be transferred until payment of the leasehold surrender interest value. The date for payment of the leasehold surrender interest value, except in special circumstances beyond the Director's control, will be the date of expiration or termination of the leasehold surrender interest contract, or the date the concessioner ceases to utilize related capital improvements under the terms of a concession contract. Depreciation of the related capital improvements will be established as of the date of expiration or termination of the concession contract, or, if applicable, the date the concessioner ceases to utilize the capital improvements under the terms of a concession contract.

(b) In the event that extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the Director prevent the Director from making the leasehold surrender interest value payment as of the date of expiration or termination of the leasehold surrender interest concession contract, or, as of the date a concessioner ceases to utilize related capital improvements under the terms of a concession contract, the payment when made will include interest on the amount that was due on the date of expiration or termination of the concession contract or cessation of use for the period after the payment was due until payment is made (in addition to the inclusion of a continuing Consumer Price Index adjustment until the date payment is made). The rate of interest will be the applicable rate of interest established by law for overdue obligations of the United States. The payment for a leasehold surrender interest value will be made within one year after the expiration or termination of the concession contract or the cessation of use of related capital improvements under the terms of a concession contract.

§51.62   What is the process to determine the leasehold surrender interest value when the concessioner does not seek or is not awarded a new concession contract?

Leasehold surrender interest concession contracts must contain provisions under which the Director and the concessioner will seek to agree in advance of the expiration or other termination of the concession contract as to what the concessioner's leasehold surrender interest value will be on a unit-by-unit basis as of the date of expiration or termination of the concession contract. In the event that agreement cannot be reached, the provisions of the leasehold surrender interest concession contract must provide for the Director to make a final determination of leasehold surrender interest value unless binding arbitration as to the value is requested by the concessioner. The arbitration procedures are described in §51.51. A prior decision as to the construction cost of capital improvements made by the Director or by an arbitration panel in accordance with this part are final and not subject to further arbitration.

[66 FR 35083, July 3, 2001]

§51.63   When a new concessioner pays a prior concessioner for a leasehold surrender interest, what is the leasehold surrender interest in the related capital improvements for purposes of a new concession contract?

A new leasehold surrender interest concession contract awarded to a new concessioner will require the new concessioner to pay the prior concessioner its leasehold surrender interest value in existing capital improvements as determined under §51.62. The new concessioner upon payment will have a leasehold surrender interest in the related capital improvements on a unit-by-unit basis under the terms of the new leasehold surrender interest contract. Instead of initial construction cost, the initial value of such leasehold surrender interest will be the leasehold surrender interest value that the new concessioner was required to pay the prior concessioner.

§51.64   May the concessioner gain additional leasehold surrender interest by undertaking a major rehabilitation or adding to a structure in which the concessioner has a leasehold surrender interest?

A concessioner that, with the written approval of the Director, undertakes a major rehabilitation or adds a new structure (e.g., a new wing to an existing building or an extension of an existing sidewalk) to an existing structure in which the concessioner has a leasehold surrender interest, will increase its leasehold surrender interest in the related structure, effective as of the date of substantial completion of the major rehabilitation or new structure, by the construction cost of the major rehabilitation or new structure. The Consumer Price Index adjustment for leasehold surrender interest value purposes will apply to the construction cost as of the date of substantial completion of the major rehabilitation or new structure. Approvals for major rehabilitations and additions to structures are subject to the same requirements and conditions applicable to new construction as described in this part.

§51.65   May the concessioner gain additional leasehold surrender interest by replacing a fixture in which the concessioner has a leasehold surrender interest?

A concessioner that replaces an existing fixture in which the concessioner has a leasehold surrender interest with a new fixture will increase its leasehold surrender interest by the amount of the construction cost of the replacement fixture less the construction cost of the replaced fixture.

§51.66   Under what conditions will a concessioner obtain a leasehold surrender interest in existing real property improvements in which no leasehold surrender interest exists?

(a) A concession contract may require the concessioner to replace fixtures in real property improvements in which there is no leasehold surrender interest (e.g., fixtures attached to an existing government facility assigned by the Director to the concessioner). A leasehold surrender interest will be obtained by the concessioner in such fixtures subject to the approval and determination of construction cost and other conditions contained in this part.

(b) A concession contract may require the concessioner to undertake a major rehabilitation of a structure in which there is no leasehold surrender interest (e.g., a government-constructed facility assigned to the concessioner). Upon substantial completion of the major rehabilitation, the concessioner will obtain a leasehold surrender interest in the structure. The initial construction cost of this leasehold surrender interest will be the construction cost of the major rehabilitation. Depreciation for purposes of leasehold surrender interest value will apply only to the rehabilitated components of the related structure.

§51.67   Will a concessioner obtain leasehold surrender interest as a result of repair and maintenance of real property improvements?

A concessioner will not obtain initial or increased leasehold surrender interest as a result of repair and maintenance of real property improvements unless a repair and maintenance project is a major rehabilitation.

Subpart H—Possessory Interest

§51.68   If a concessioner under a 1965 Act concession contract is not awarded a new concession contract, how will a concessioner that has a possessory interest receive compensation for its possessory interest?

A concessioner that has possessory interest in real property improvements pursuant to the terms of a 1965 Act concession contract, will, if the prior concessioner does not seek or is not awarded a new concession contract upon expiration or other termination of its 1965 Act concession contract, be entitled to receive compensation for its possessory interest in the amount and manner described by the possessory interest concession contract. The concessioner shall also be entitled to receive all other compensation, including any compensation for property in which there is no possessory interest, to the extent and in the manner that the possessory interest contract may provide.

§51.69   What happens if there is a dispute between the new concessioner and a prior concessioner as to the value of the prior concessioner's possessory interest?

In case of a dispute between a new concessioner and a prior concessioner as to the value of the prior concessioner's possessory interest, the dispute will be resolved under the procedures contained in the possessory interest concession contract. A new concessioner will not agree on the value of a prior concessioner's possessory interest without the prior written approval of the Director unless the value is determined through the binding determination process required by the possessory interest concession contract. The Director's written approval is to ensure that the value is consistent with the terms and conditions of the possessory interest concession contract. If a new concessioner and a prior concessioner engage in a binding process to resolve a dispute as to the value of the prior concessioner's possessory interest, the new concessioner must allow the Director to assist the new concessioner in the dispute process to the extent requested by the Director. Nothing in this section may be construed as limiting the rights of the prior concessioner to be paid for its possessory interest or other property by a new concessioner in accordance with the terms of its concession contract.

§51.70   If a concessioner under a 1965 Act concession contract is awarded a new concession contract, what happens to the concessioner's possessory interest?

In the event a concessioner under a 1965 Act concession contract is awarded a new concession contract replacing a possessory interest concession contract, the concessioner will obtain a leasehold surrender interest in its existing possessory interest real property improvements under the terms of the new concession contract. The concessioner will carry over as the initial value of such leasehold surrender interest (instead of initial construction cost) an amount equal to the value of its possessory interest in real property improvements as of the expiration or other termination of its possessory interest contract. This leasehold surrender interest will apply to the concessioner's possessory interest in real property improvements even if the real property improvements are not capital improvements as defined in this part. In the event that the concessioner had a possessory interest in only a portion of a structure, depreciation for purposes of leasehold surrender interest value under the new concession contract will apply only to the portion of the structure to which the possessory interest applied. The concessioner and the Director will seek to agree on an allocation of the leasehold surrender interest value on a unit by unit basis.

§51.71   What is the process to be followed if there is a dispute between the prior concessioner and the Director as to the value of possessory interest?

Unless other procedures are agreed to by the concessioner and the Director, in the event that a concessioner under a possessory interest concession contract is awarded a new concession contract and there is a dispute between the concessioner and the Director as to the value of such possessory interest, or, a dispute as to the allocation of an established overall possessory interest value on a unit by unit basis, the value and/or allocation will be established by arbitration in accordance with the terms and conditions of this part. The arbitration procedures are described in §51.51.

§51.72   If a new concessioner is awarded the contract, what is the relationship between leasehold surrender interest and possessory interest?

If a new concessioner is awarded a leasehold surrender interest concession contract and is required to pay a prior concessioner for possessory interest in real property improvements, the new concessioner will have a leasehold surrender interest in the real property improvements under the terms of its new concession contract. The initial value of the leasehold surrender interest (instead of initial construction cost) will be the value of the possessory interest as of the expiration or other termination of the 1965 Act possessory interest concession contract. This leasehold surrender interest will apply even if the related possessory interest real property improvements are not capital improvements as defined in this part. In the event a new concessioner obtains a leasehold surrender interest in only a portion of a structure as a result of the acquisition of a possessory interest from a prior concessioner, depreciation for purposes of leasehold surrender interest value will apply only to the portion of the structure to which the possessory interest applied.

Subpart I—Concession Contract Provisions

§51.73   What is the term of a concession contract?

A concession contract will generally be awarded for a term of 10 years or less unless the Director determines that the contract terms and conditions, including the required construction of capital improvements, warrant a longer term. It is the policy of the Director under these requirements that the term of concession contracts should be as short as is prudent, taking into account the financial requirements of the concession contract, resource protection and visitor needs, and other factors the Director may deem appropriate. In no event will a concession contract have a term of more than 20 years (unless extended in accordance with this part).

§51.74   When may a concession contract be terminated by the Director?

Concession contracts will contain appropriate provisions for suspension of operations under a concession contract and for termination of a concession contract by the Director for default, including, without limitation, unsatisfactory performance, or termination when necessary to achieve the purposes of the 1998 Act. The purposes of the 1998 Act include, but are not limited to, protecting, conserving, and preserving park area resources and providing necessary and appropriate visitor services in park areas.

§51.75   May the Director segment or split concession contracts?

The Director may not segment or otherwise split visitor services authorized or required under a single concession contract into separate concession contracts if the purpose of such action is to establish a concession contract with anticipated annual gross receipts of less than $500,000.

§51.76   May the Director include in a concession contract or otherwise grant a concessioner a preferential right to provide new or additional visitor services?

The Director may not include a provision in a concession contract or otherwise grant a concessioner a preferential right to provide new or additional visitor services under the terms of a concession contract or otherwise. For the purpose of this section, a “preferential right to new or additional services” means a right of a concessioner to a preference (in the nature of a right of first refusal or otherwise) to provide new or additional visitor services in a park area beyond those already provided by the concessioner under the terms of a concession contract. A concession contract may be amended to authorize the concessioner to provide minor additional visitor services that are a reasonable extension of the existing services. A concessioner that is allocated park area entrance, user days or similar resource use allocations for the purposes of a concession contract will not obtain any contractual or other rights to continuation of a particular allocation level pursuant to the terms of a concession contract or otherwise. Such allocations will be made, withdrawn and/or adjusted by the Director from time to time in furtherance of the purposes of this part.

§51.77   Will a concession contract provide a concessioner an exclusive right to provide visitor services?

Concession contracts will not provide in any manner an exclusive right to provide all or certain types of visitor services in a park area. The Director may limit the number of concession contracts to be awarded for the conduct of visitor services in a particular park area in furtherance of the purposes described in this part.

§51.78   Will a concession contract require a franchise fee and will the franchise fee be subject to adjustment?

(a) Concession contracts will provide for payment to the government of a franchise fee or other monetary consideration as determined by the Director upon consideration of the probable value to the concessioner of the privileges granted by the contract involved. This probable value will be based upon a reasonable opportunity for net profit in relation to capital invested and the obligations of the contract. Consideration of revenue to the United States shall be subordinate to the objectives of protecting and preserving park areas and of providing necessary and appropriate visitor services at reasonable rates.

(b) The franchise fee contained in a concession contract with a term of 5 years or less may not be adjusted during the term of the contract. Concession contracts with a term of more than 5 years will contain a provision that provides for adjustment of the contract's established franchise fee at the request of the concessioner or the Director. An adjustment will occur if the concessioner and the Director mutually determine that extraordinary, unanticipated changes occurred after the effective date of the contract that have affected or will significantly affect the probable value of the privileges granted by the contract. The concession contract will provide for arbitration if the Director and a concessioner cannot agree upon an appropriate adjustment to the franchise fee that reflects the extraordinary, unanticipated changes determined by the concessioner and the Director.

§51.79   May the Director waive payment of a franchise fee or other payments?

The Director may not waive the concessioner's payment of a franchise fee or other payments or consideration required by a concession contract, except that a franchise fee may be waived in part by the Director pursuant to administrative guidelines that may allow for a partial franchise fee waiver in recognition of exceptional performance by a concessioner under the terms of a concession contract. A concessioner will have no right to require the partial waiver of a franchise fee under this authority or under any related administrative guidelines.

§51.80   How will the Director establish franchise fees for multiple outfitter and guide concession contracts in the same park area?

If the Director awards more than one outfitter and guide concession contract that authorizes or requires the concessioners to provide the same or similar visitor services at the same approximate location or utilizing the same resource within a single park area, the Director will establish franchise fees for those concession contracts that are comparable. In establishing these comparable franchise fees, the Director will take into account, as appropriate, variations in the nature and type of visitor services authorized by particular concession contracts, including, but not limited to, length of the visitor experience, type of equipment utilized, relative expense levels, and other relevant factors. The terms and conditions of an existing concession contract will not be subject to modification or open to renegotiation by the Director because of the award of a new concession contract at the same approximate location or utilizing the same resource.

§51.81   May the Director include “special account” provisions in concession contracts?

(a) The Director may not include in concession contracts “special account” provisions, that is, contract provisions which require or authorize a concessioner to undertake with a specified percentage of the concessioner's gross receipts the construction of real property improvements, including, without limitation, capital improvements on park lands. The construction of capital improvements will be undertaken only pursuant to the leasehold surrender interest provisions of this part and the applicable concession contract.

(b) Concession contracts may contain provisions that require the concessioner to set aside a percentage of its gross receipts or other funds in a repair and maintenance reserve to be used at the direction of the Director solely for maintenance and repair of real property improvements located in park areas and utilized by the concessioner in its operations. Repair and maintenance reserve funds may not be expended to construct real property improvements, including, without limitation, capital improvements. Repair and maintenance reserve provisions may not be included in concession contracts in lieu of a franchise fee, and funds from the reserves will be expended only for the repair and maintenance of real property improvements assigned to the concessioner by the Director for use in its operations.

(c) A concession contract must require the concessioner to maintain in good condition through a comprehensive repair and maintenance program all of the concessioner's personal property used in the performance of the concession contract and all real property improvements, including, without limitation, capital improvements, and, government personal property, assigned to the concessioner by a concession contract.

§51.82   Are a concessioner's rates required to be reasonable and subject to approval by the Director?

(a) Concession contracts will permit the concessioner to set reasonable and appropriate rates and charges for visitor services provided to the public, subject to approval by the Director.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in a concession contract, the reasonableness of a concessioner's rates and charges to the public will be determined primarily by comparison with those rates and charges for facilities and services of comparable character under similar conditions, with due consideration of the following factors and other factors deemed relevant by the Director: Length of season; peakloads; average percentage of occupancy; accessibility; availability and costs of labor and materials; and types of patronage. Such rates and charges may not exceed the market rates and charges for comparable facilities, goods, and services, after taking these factors into consideration.

§51.83   Sale of Native Handicrafts.

(a) Where authorized by an applicable concession contract, concessioners are encouraged to sell authentic native handicrafts appropriately labeled or denoted as authentic that reflect the cultural, historical, and geographic characteristics of the related park area. To further this objective, concession contracts will contain a provision that exempts the revenue of a concessioner derived from the sale of appropriately labeled or denoted authentic native handicrafts from the concession contract's franchise fee.

(b) The sale of products as authentic native handicrafts is further regulated under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, Public Law 101-644, as amended.

(c) Definitions. (1) Alaska Native means any citizen of the United States who is a person of one-fourth degree or more Alaskan Indian (including Tsimshian Indians not enrolled in the Metalakatla Indian Community), Eskimo, or Aleut blood, or combination thereof. The term includes any person so defined either or both of whose adoptive parents are not Alaska Natives. It also includes, in the absence of a minimum blood quantum, any citizen of the United States who is regarded as an Alaska Native by the Alaska native village or native groups of which he or she claims to be a member and whose father or mother is (or, if deceased, was) regarded as an Alaska Native by any village or group.

(2) Arts and crafts objects means art works and crafts that are in a traditional or non-traditional style or medium.

(3) Authentic native handicrafts means arts and crafts objects created by a United States Indian, Alaska Native, Native Samoan or Native Hawaiian that are made with the help of only such devices as allow the manual skill of the maker to condition the shape and design of each individual object.

(4) Native Hawaiian means any individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal people that, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii.

(5) United States Indian means any individual that is a member of an Indian tribe as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1159(c)(3).

[72 FR 32190, June 12, 2007]

Subpart J—Assignment or Encumbrance of Concession Contracts

§51.84   What special terms must I know to understand this part?

To understand this subpart specifically and this part in general you must refer to these definitions, applicable in the singular or plural, whenever the terms are used in this part.

A controlling interest in a concession contract means an interest, beneficial or otherwise, that permits the exercise of managerial authority over a concessioner's performance under the terms of the concession contract and/or decisions regarding the rights and liabilities of the concessioner.

A controlling interest in a concessioner means, in the case of corporate concessioners, an interest, beneficial or otherwise, of sufficient outstanding voting securities or capital of the concessioner or related entities that permits the exercise of managerial authority over the actions and operations of the concessioner. A “controlling interest” in a concessioner also means, in the case of corporate concessioners, an interest, beneficial or otherwise, of sufficient outstanding voting securities or capital of the concessioner or related entities to permit the election of a majority of the Board of Directors of the concessioner. The term “controlling interest” in a concessioner, in the instance of a partnership, limited partnership, joint venture, other business organization or individual entrepreneurship, means ownership or beneficial ownership of the assets of the concessioner that permits the exercise of managerial authority over the actions and operations of the concessioner.

Rights to operate and/or manage under a concession contract means any arrangement where the concessioner employs or contracts with a third party to operate and/or manage the performance of a concession contract (or any portion thereof). This does not apply to arrangements with an individual employee.

Subconcessioner means a third party that, with the approval of the Director, has been granted by a concessioner rights to operate under a concession contract (or any portion thereof), whether in consideration of a percentage of revenues or otherwise.

§51.85   What assignments require the approval of the Director?

The concessioner may not assign, sell, convey, grant, contract for, or otherwise transfer (such transactions collectively referred to as “assignments” for purposes of this part), without the prior written approval of the Director, any of the following:

(a) Any concession contract;

(b) Any rights to operate under or manage the performance of a concession contract as a subconcessioner or otherwise;

(c) Any controlling interest in a concessioner or concession contract; or

(d) Any leasehold surrender interest or possessory interest obtained under a concession contract.

§51.86   What encumbrances require the approval of the Director?

The concessioner may not encumber, pledge, mortgage or otherwise provide as a security interest for any purpose (such transactions collectively referred to as “encumbrances” for purposes of this part), without the prior written approval of the Director, any of the following:

(a) Any concession contract;

(b) Any rights to operate under or manage performance under a concession contract as a subconcessioner or otherwise;

(c) Any controlling interest in a concessioner or concession contract; or

(d) Any leasehold surrender interest or possessory interest obtained under a concession contract.

§51.87   Does the concessioner have an unconditional right to receive the Director's approval of an assignment or encumbrance?

No, approvals of assignments or encumbrances are subject to the following determinations by the Director:

(a) That the purpose of a leasehold surrender interest or possessory interest encumbrance is either to finance the construction of capital improvements under the applicable concession contract in the applicable park area or to finance the purchase of the applicable concession contract. An encumbrance of a leasehold surrender interest or possessory interest may not be made for any other purpose, including, but not limited to, providing collateral for other debt of a concessioner, the parent of a concessioner, or an entity related to a concessioner;

(b) That the encumbrance does not purport to provide the creditor or assignee any rights beyond those provided by the applicable concession contract, including, but not limited to, any rights to conduct business in a park area except in strict accordance with the terms and conditions of the applicable concession contract;

(c) That the encumbrance does not purport to permit a creditor or assignee of a creditor, in the event of default or otherwise, to begin operations under the applicable concession contract or through a designated operator unless and until the Director determines that the proposed operator is a qualified person as defined in this part;

(d) That an assignment or encumbrance does not purport to assign or encumber assets that are not owned by the concessioner, including, without limitation, park area entrance, user day, or similar use allocations made by the Director;

(e) That the assignment is to a qualified person as defined in this part;

(f) That the assignment or encumbrance would not have an adverse impact on the protection, conservation or preservation of park resources;

(g) That the assignment or encumbrance would not have an adverse impact on the provision of necessary and appropriate facilities and services to visitors at reasonable rates and charges; and

(h) That the terms of the assignment or encumbrance are not likely, directly or indirectly, to reduce an existing or new concessioner's opportunity to earn a reasonable profit over the remaining term of the applicable concession contract, to affect adversely the quality of facilities and services provided by the concessioner, or result in a need for increased rates and charges to the public to maintain the quality of concession facilities and services.

§51.88   What happens if an assignment or encumbrance is completed without the approval of the Director?

Assignments or encumbrances completed without the prior written approval of the Director will be considered as null and void and a material breach of the applicable concession contract which may result in termination of the contract for cause. No person will obtain any valid or enforceable rights in a concessioner, in a concession contract, or to operate or manage under a concession contract as a subconcessioner or otherwise, or to leasehold surrender interest or possessory interest, if acquired in violation of the requirements in this subpart.

§51.89   What happens if there is a default on an encumbrance approved by the Director?

In the event of default on an encumbrance approved by the Director in accordance with this part, the creditor, or an assignee of the creditor, may succeed to the interests of the concessioner only to the extent provided by the approved encumbrance, this part and the terms and conditions of the applicable concession contract.

§51.90   How does the concessioner get the Director's approval before making an assignment or encumbrance?

Before completing any assignment or encumbrance which may be considered to be the type of transaction described in this part, including, but not limited to, the assignment or encumbrance of what may be a controlling interest in a concessioner or a concession contract, the concessioner must apply in writing for approval of the transaction by the Director.

§51.91   What information may the Director require in the application?

An application for the Director's approval of an assignment or encumbrance will include, to the extent required by the Director in the circumstances of the transaction, the following information in such detail as the Director may specify in order to make the determinations required by this subpart:

(a) All instruments proposed to implement the transaction;

(b) An opinion of counsel to the effect that the proposed transaction is lawful under all applicable federal and state laws;

(c) A narrative description of the proposed transaction;

(d) A statement as to the existence and nature of any litigation relating to the proposed transaction;

(e) A description of the management qualifications, financial background, and financing and operational plans of any proposed transferee;

(f) A detailed description of all financial aspects of the proposed transaction;

(g) Prospective financial statements (proformas);

(h) A schedule that allocates in detail the purchase price (or, in the case of a transaction other than an asset purchase, the valuation) of all assets assigned or encumbered. In addition, the applicant must provide a description of the basis for all allocations and ownership of all assets; and

(i) Such other information as the Director may require to make the determinations required by this subpart.

§51.92   What are standard proformas?

Concessioners are encouraged to submit standard prospective financial statements (proformas) pursuant to this part. A “standard proforma” is one that:

(a) Provides projections, including revenues and expenses that are consistent with the concessioner's past operating history unless the proforma is accompanied by a narrative that describes why differing expectations are achievable and realistic;

(b) Assumes that any loan related to an assignment or encumbrance will be paid in full by the expiration of the concession contract unless the proforma contains a narrative description as to why an extended loan period is consistent with an opportunity for reasonable profit over the remaining term of the concession contract. The narrative description must include, but is not limited to, identification of the loan's collateral after expiration of the concession contract; and

(c) Assumes amortization of any intangible assets assigned or encumbered as a result of the transaction over the remaining term of the concession contract unless the proforma contains a narrative description as to why such extended amortization period is consistent with an opportunity for reasonable profit over the remaining term of the concession contract.

§51.93   If the transaction includes more that one concession contract, how must required information be provided?

In circumstances of an assignment or encumbrance that includes more than one concession contract, the concessioner must provide the information described in this subpart on a contract by contract basis.

§51.94   What information will the Director consider when deciding to approve a transaction?

In deciding whether to approve an assignment or encumbrance, the Director will consider the proformas, all other information submitted by the concessioner, and other information available to the Director.

§51.95   Does the Director's approval of an assignment or encumbrance include any representations of any nature?

In approving an assignment or encumbrance, the Director has no duty to inform any person of any information the Director may have relating to the concession contract, the park area, or other matters relevant to the concession contract or the assignment or encumbrance. In addition, in approving an assignment or encumbrance, the Director makes no representations of any nature to any person about any matter, including, but not limited to, the value, allocation, or potential profitability of any concession contract or assets of a concessioner. No approval of an assignment or encumbrance may be construed as altering the terms and conditions of the applicable concession contract unless expressly so stated by the Director in writing.

§51.96   May the Director amend or extend a concession contract for the purpose of facilitating a transaction?

The Director may not amend or extend a concession contract for the purpose of facilitating an assignment or encumbrance. The Director may not make commitments regarding rates to the public, contract extensions, concession contract terms and conditions, or any other matter, for the purpose of facilitating an assignment or encumbrance.

§51.97   May the Director open to renegotiation or modify the terms of a concession contract as a condition to the approval of a transaction?

The Director may not open to renegotiation or modify the terms and conditions of a concession contract as a condition to the approval of an assignment or encumbrance. The exception is if the Director determines that renegotiation or modification is required to avoid an adverse impact on the protection, conservation or preservation of the resources of a park area or an adverse impact on the provision of necessary and appropriate visitor services at reasonable rates and charges.

Subpart K—Information and Access to Information

§51.98   What records must the concessioner keep and what access does the Director have to records?

A concessioner (and any subconcessioner) must keep any records that the Director may require for the term of the concession contract and for five calendar years after the termination or expiration of the concession contract to enable the Director to determine that all terms of the concession contract are or were faithfully performed. The Director and any duly authorized representative of the Director must, for the purpose of audit and examination, have access to all pertinent records, books, documents, and papers of the concessioner, subconcessioner and any parent or affiliate of the concessioner (but with respect to parents and affiliates, only to the extent necessary to confirm the validity and performance of any representations or commitments made to the Director by a parent or affiliate of the concessioner).

§51.99   What access to concessioner records will the Comptroller General have?

The Comptroller General or any duly authorized representative of the Comptroller General must, until the expiration of five calendar years after the close of the business year of each concessioner (or subconcessioner), have access to and the right to examine all pertinent books, papers, documents and records of the concessioner, subconcessioner and any parent or affiliate of the concessioner (but with respect to parents and affiliates only to the extent necessary to confirm the validity and performance of any representations or commitments made to the Director by the parent or affiliate of the concessioner).

§51.100   When will the Director make proposals and evaluation documents publicly available?

In the interest of enhancing competition for concession contracts, the Director will not make publicly available proposals submitted in response to a prospectus or documents generated by the Director in evaluating such proposals, until the date that the new concession contract solicited by the prospectus is awarded. At that time, the Director may or will make the proposals and documents publicly available in accordance with applicable law.

Subpart L—The Effect of the 1998 Act's Repeal of the 1965 Act

§51.101   Did the 1998 Act repeal the 1965 Act?

Section 415 of the 1998 Act repealed the 1965 Act and related laws as of November 13, 1998. This repeal did not affect the validity of any 1965 Act concession contract. The provisions of this part apply to all 1965 Act concession contracts except to the extent that such provisions are inconsistent with terms and conditions of a 1965 Act concession contract.

§51.102   What is the effect of the 1998 Act's repeal of the 1965 Act's preference in renewal?

(a) Section 5 of the 1965 Act required the Secretary to give existing satisfactory concessioners a preference in the renewal (termed a “renewal preference” in the rest of this section) of its concession contract or permit. Section 415 of the 1998 Act repealed this statutory renewal preference as of November 13, 1998. It is the final decision of the Director, subject to the right of appeal set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, that holders of 1965 Act concession contracts are not entitled to be given a renewal preference with respect to such contracts (although they may otherwise qualify for a right of preference regarding such contracts under Sections 403(7) and (8) of the 1998 Act as implemented in this part). However, if a concessioner holds an existing 1965 Act concession contract and the contract makes express reference to a renewal preference, the concessioner may appeal to the Director for recognition of a renewal preference.

(b) Such appeal must be in writing and be received by the Director no later than thirty days after the issuance of a prospectus for a concession contract under this part for which the concessioner asserts a renewal preference. The Director must make a decision on the appeal prior to the proposal submission date specified in the prospectus. Where applicable, the Director will give notice of this appeal to all potential offerors that requested a prospectus. The Director may delegate consideration of such appeals only to a Deputy or Associate Director. The deciding official must prepare a written decision on the appeal, taking into account the content of the appeal and other available information.

(c) If the appeal results in a determination by the Director that the 1965 Act concession contract in question makes express reference to a renewal preference under section 5 of the 1965 Act, the 1998 Act's repeal of section 5 of the 1965 Act was inconsistent with the terms and conditions of the concession contract, and that the holder of the concession contract in these circumstances is entitled to a renewal preference by operation of law, the Director will permit the concessioner to exercise a renewal preference for the contract subject to and in accordance with the otherwise applicable right of preference terms and conditions of this part, including, without limitation, the requirement for submission of a responsive proposal pursuant to the terms of an applicable prospectus. The Director, similarly, will permit any holder of a 1965 Act concession contract that a court of competent jurisdiction determines in a final order is entitled to a renewal preference, for any reason, to exercise a right of preference in accordance with the otherwise applicable requirements of this part, including, without limitation, the requirement for submission of a responsive proposal pursuant to the terms of an applicable prospectus.

§51.103   Severability.

A determination that any provision of this part is unlawful will not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.

Subpart M—Information Collection

§51.104   Have information collection procedures been followed?

(a) The Paperwork Reduction Act provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The information collection for submission of proposals in response to concession prospectuses contained in this part have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget as required by 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and assigned clearance number 1024-0125, extended through May 30, 2000. An information collection for proposed transfers of concession operations is covered by OMB Approval No. 1024-0126 effective through August 31, 2002.

(b) The public reporting burden for the collection of information for the purpose of preparing a proposal in response to a contract solicitation is estimated to average 480 hours per proposal for large authorizations and 240 hours per proposal for small authorizations. The public reporting burden for the collection of information for the purpose of requesting approval of a sale or transfer of a concession operation is estimated to be 80 hours. Please send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to the Information Collection Officer, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, Washington, DC 20240; and to the Attention: Desk Officer for the Interior Department, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.

(c) Additional reporting and recordkeeping requirements were identified in subpart F regarding appeal of a preferred offeror determination, subpart G regarding leasehold surrender interest and in subpart K regarding recordkeeping that are not covered under OMB approval. An emergency information collection request to cover these requirements has been prepared and submitted to OMB for approvals. These additional information collection requirements will not be implemented until OMB approves the emergency request. The Director will publish a Federal Register notice when OMB has approved these requirements.



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