A small outfitter/guide company located outside Grand Teton National Park is continuing with its efforts to have an illegal award of two NPS concession contracts overturned. The company, Eco Tour Adventures, Inc., previously prevailed in demonstrating that the award of the contracts by NPS to its two incumbent concessioners was in violation of the law. NPS had found that Eco Tour’s proposals were in fact the best ones it received. However, NPS nonetheless went ahead with the award, claiming that the law required it to award the contracts to its preferred incumbent concessioners because they had a right of preference to any new contract. A federal court subsequently held that NPS was under no such obligation, but NPS proceeded with the awards to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Corporation and another company nonetheless.
Eco Tour also demonstrated that, when NPS awarded the two contracts to its preferred incumbents, it failed to require those companies to match many parts of its better proposal. These elements included reduced fuel emissions by its vehicles. NPS took the position that reduced fuel emissions was not a material part of the concession operations and thus it would not require its preferred incumbents to match this better aspect of Eco Tour’s proposal.
The matter is currently pending before a federal judge in Washington, D.C.