Another day, another Jack’s Boathouse update. (Hey, there’s not much else going on over the holidays.) Last week came the news that the Georgetown institution was getting the boot from the National Park Service. Yesterday, I added word from NPS that the boathouse would move from a lease to a concession, either going directly to Jack’s or being opened to bids; and from Jack’s owner Paul Simkin that NPS had sent him contradictory signals and that he feared displacement in favor of Georgetown University or Guest Services International.
Now the Post brings a bit more clarity to the story. The Jack’s lease, for $356 a month, has not been in Simkin’s name, according to NPS, and so NPS decided to “regularize the boathouse operation.” The new concession contract will give a share of the boathouse’s profits to NPS and will be open to bids, since offering it directly to Simkin would be “inappropriate and legally questionable,” says an NPS spokeswoman.
Simkin told the Post he’d be open to bidding if there’s a level playing field. But he expressed concern to me that NPS would simply choose its preferred operator, which could be Georgetown or GSI, which operates other nearby boathouses.