The National Park Service has selected a new operator for the Georgetown waterfront boating space currently run by Jack’s Boathouse.
According to a press release from NPS, the chosen operator is B&G Outdoor Recreation, Inc., also known as Boating in Boston, headquartered in Hopkinton, Mass., which “operates six kayak, canoe, pedal boat and rowboat rental locations in the Greater Boston area, including three at Massachusetts state parks.”
NPS issued a request for qualifications for the space in January and stated its intention to select a new operator by the end of February. Today’s announcement comes a day after the self-imposed deadline.
Because Jack’s owner Paul Simkin and his lawyer Charles Camp felt NPS did not have the right to terminate the Jack’s concession and install a new operator, they did not respond to the RFQ; doing so, Simkin says, would have been akin to signing “our own death warrant.” They filed suit to prevent their eviction, and they plan to file suit against the new operator to prevent the operator from starting up a business in the space. Camp expects the litigation to drag on for at least a year or two, allowing Jack’s to continue operating, though the uncertainty surrounding the case may take a toll on Jack’s business.
Simkin suspected that NPS was planning to install its usual operator of choice, Guest Services Inc., which operates a number of other boathouses in the area. The B&G selection comes as a surprise, since the company only operates boathouses in Massachusetts.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery