The United States Department of Agriculture today announced the award of a contract to provide a single, interagency federal recreation information and reservation service called the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS).
The three and a half-year, performance-based contract with a total potential value of $128 million was awarded to ReserveAmerica of Ballston Spa, N.Y. The contract provides for additional option periods for a total contract period not to exceed 10 years. The Forest Service conducted a full and open competition for the award of the new contract. The new contract will consolidate and expand the existing federal reservation services and agencies may add other sites that are currently individually reserved at the local level. It will begin operating in late 2004.
The new service is part of the President's E-Gov Recreation One-Stop Initiative and will offer one-stop shopping to the public for a wide range of federal recreation areas, facilities and opportunities: more than 57,000 campgrounds, cabins, parks, and tours of national sites, historic homes and caves. Participating agencies will include the USDA's Forest Service, the DOI's National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"This multi-agency approach for one-stop shopping for federal recreation site reservations capitalizes on our commitment to deliver customer-friendly services to our visitors," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. "By working together, we have designed a convenient, flexible and responsive service for recreation seekers to make their reservations."
The reservation service will operate through multiple sales channels, including telephone contact centers, on-line reservations, and walk-up field reservations at some locations. Expanded service under the new contract will include one web-based portal - at http://www.recreation.gov - to make reservations. A high demand exists and is growing for this type of service. More than 50 percent of reservations are now made by Internet access.
This site will provide a comprehensive source of information about thousands of federal recreation areas and opportunities. Interactive maps and text searches will allow customers to discover which parks, forests, lakes, museums, and other recreation sites managed by government agencies are located near a particular area or offer specific recreational opportunities.
"By late 2004, this new service will offer customers the ability to do their trip planning and to make campsite and tour reservations all on one site," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton.
Rec.gov will serve as the sole web portal for making reservations.
"Recreation seekers will benefit by having additional choices among campgrounds and other facilities available through one convenient reservation service," said John Paul Woodley, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). "It will also offer more cost-effective and efficient service to our customers."
Current reservations will be honored and outstanding reservations will be transferred to the new system once it is operational. Transition to the new service is expected to be seamless with minimal disruptions in customer service.