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The city’s spunkiest boathouse could be out of a home as early as next month. This afternoon, the National Park Service officially put out a request for companies to compete for a contract for the Georgetown space that’s been occupied by Jack’s Boathouse since 1973.

The status of the boathouse was unclear after NPS indicated it was terminating Jack’s month-to-month lease but then held off on making any final decisions until NPS Director Jon Jarvis had time to review the situation. Now, NPS has announced that interested parties have until Feb. 6 to respond to the so-called request for qualifications, and that NPS plans to award the contract by the end of February. Jack’s will be allowed to compete for the contract and will remain in operation until the contract is awarded.

“The right thing to do is to get this boat rental operation under a competitively-awarded concession contract, just as we do in other parks,” said Jarvis in a press release. “Until that contract is in place, we do not need to terminate the existing lease. We are committed to ensuring that visitors to the Georgetown waterfront are able to wet a paddle and get out on the water, that the resources in our care are protected, and that the American people get a fair return for the privilege of operating a business in a national park. The concession contract will do that.”

NPS sent Jack’s owner Paul Simkin a letter today informing him of the move and promising to “evaluate all responsive proposals, including yours should you wish to submit one, in a fair and consistent fashion to ascertain which best responds to the RFQ and meets the requirements of the contract.”

I’m awaiting confirmation from Simkin that he’s planning to submit a proposal, as he indicated during our last conversation.