Recreation Partnerships Initiative

US Army Corps
of Engineers®

1. The Corps is the Nation’s leading provider of water based outdoor recreation opportunities to the American public. During 1997, Corps projects (mostly man-made lakes) received 377,500,000 visits at its 456 projects in 42 states. The Corps administers less than 2% of the total Federal land holdings while hosting approximately 30% of the total visits to all Federally administered lands open for public recreation. The Corps is second only to the U. S. Forest Service in the total number of visits.

2. Recreation opportunities at Corps projects include: hunting, fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, camping, picnicking, water skiing, and sightseeing, to mention a few.

3. Corps resources are significantly leveraged through some 1200 leases for both concessions (e.g. marinas, restaurants, etc.) and public parks.

4. Over the years the Corps ability to provide additional public recreational facilities on Corps water resources projects has decreased due to budget prioritizing and reduced State and local Government capabilities. In view of existing budget priorities, administration policy, the Corps inability to deal effectively with unsolicited development proposals, the RPI effort is an opportunity to obtain private sector funding for additional public recreation facilities at Corps projects where demand exists. The intent of the program is to encourage private development of public recreation facilities such as; marinas, hotel/lmotel/restaurant complexes, conference centers, RV camping areas, golf courses, theme parks, and entertainment areas with shops, etc. The program will not address private exclusive developments such as condominiums, time shares, or private residential development.

5. The Recreation Partnerships Initiative (RPI), is designed to provide additional public recreation opportunities and infrastructure at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water projects at no additional cost to the Federal Government through private sector involvement. The RPI uses private sector expertise not found within the Corps to advertise for and assist in the evaluation of private sector developer proposals for unique public recreation opportunities.

6. The RPI is a two pronged effort. First, the Corps issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from qualified consultants to design a methodology for evaluating Corps project lands for their potential for private sector development of public recreation facilities. Only Corps project lands where no recreational facilities currently exist, or where facilities previously existed but have since been closed, were considered. The contractor developed a methodology to determine the top 100 Corps sites that had the greatest potential for successful private sector development. From these 100 sites, Corps team members selected 37 sites to be further studied for potential development feasibility. The Request for Expression of Interest was used to solicit private sector interest during the implementation phase of the initiative. The 37 sites were further narrowed to seven then to five with the idea being to select sites which had the greatest potential for success and also to test the methodology developed by the contractor.

7. Under the second part of the effort the Corps awarded a contract (28 October 1997) to a private consultant (Horwath Hospitality Consultants) to assist in developing and implementing the outreach component. The consultant is assisting the Corps in attracting private sector developers who are interested in providing public recreation facilities at five specific sites throughout the Nation at no cost to the Federal Government. In addition, the consultant will perform in-depth market research and develop site specific reports on market demands which will be used to attract potential developers.

8. The current schedule calls for the Corps to issue leases for these private sector developments during the winter or early spring of the year 2000.

9. The Corps is indeed excited about the possibility of providing these additional opportunities for private sector development of public recreation facilities. These opportunities provide a win, win, win situation. The private developers win because of the excellent opportunities they will have to make a profit. The public wins because of the additional recreation opportunities made available to them and the Corp and the Federal Government win because much needed public recreational facilities are provided at no cost to the Government.

10. If the initial offerings prove successful, the Corps plans to make additional opportunities for private sector development available at a later date.


This document was obtained through FOIA and optically scanned by Wild Wilderness.
Minor OCR errors are possible.
To learn more about ongoing industry-backed congressional efforts to motorize, commercialize, and privatize America's public lands, contact:

Scott Silver, Executive Director,
Wild Wilderness
248 NW Wilmington Avenue,  Bend  OR 97701
Phone (541) 385-5261    E-mail: