The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is exploring the possibility of hiring a concessionaire to operate the World Shooting and Recreational Complex near Sparta.
The department has posted a Request for Information at: http://tinyurl.com/SpartaRFI. The purpose of issuing the RFI is to seek ideas to shape a business plan that will allow the complex to achieve its full potential, the department said. The RFI is the precursor to a formal Request for a Proposal which asks potential vendors to submit bids.
“Our staff has done a great job bringing the World Shooting and Recreational Complex to this point, but we are ready to take it to the next level,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “We feel that a vendor with specific skills in operating and marketing a shooting complex will help us provide the maximum benefit for shooters, the local community and the state of Illinois.”
The complex is the home of the Amateur Trapshooting Association’s Grand American Trapshooting Championships. The facility has the longest trap line in the world with 120 trap field extending over 3.5 miles. The complex also offers skeet, sporting clays and cowboy action shooting. It generates about $25 million in local economic impact annually.
State sites operated by concessionaires remain in state ownership. Starved Rock Lodge at Starved Rock State Park near Utica is a prominent example of a concessionaire operating within a state park. In addition to operating the lodge, the concessionaire provides marketing for the site and hosts a full schedule of events in all seasons of the year. Other sites with concessionaires include lodges at Pere Marquette State Park, Giant City State Park and Illinois Beach State Park.
The RFI deadline is Oct. 2. The state procurement website is: www.purchase.state.il.us.