National Park Service Issues 50 Year Lease For Golf Courses

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The National Park Service recently entered into a 50 year lease for operation of three golf courses in the Washington, DC area.  The agency had previously put out a request to determine if there was interest in a lease, and subsequently sought proposals for the lease.  After evaluating the proposals received, the agency selected National Links Trust, a nonprofit corporation, for award of the lease.

While the operations had previously been authorized under a concession contract, NPS determined that the golf course operations no longer qualified for that type of authorization.  As a result, NPS does not utilize its standard terms for the activity.  For example, the agency does not conduct Annual Overall Reviews as with concession operations or impose a maintenance reserve account.  In addition, the agency does not regulate the rates charged in the same manner as with concession contracts.  In addition, the lease does not set out rights for the lessee, such as Leasehold Surrender Interest, in the improvements it constructs at the site. The lease does, however, include a rental fee of 16% of the gross revenues, which is a similar to the franchise fee imposed under concession contracts.

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