The City opens up bidding for Stow Lake operations

Golden Gate Park site known for pedal boats has been run by same company for 63 years

The little boats that pedal around Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park could soon be rented out by a new operator.

The City’s Recreation and Park Department on Monday will open a request for proposals for a new 10-year lease to operate the snack shop, the rental bicycles and the boats at Stow Lake. The lease will contain several new terms and will take over for a 15-year agreement with the Stow Lake Corporation that expires Nov. 30. The company, which has managed both the boats and the snack shop for 63 years, can reapply to operate at the site but must face competition.

If the lease is awarded to a new management company, the lake could be without its boats for some time, although the Recreation and Park Department believes the scenario is unlikely.

“It’s not in our interest to have a vacant facility,” Recreation and Park Commissioner Jim Lazarus said.

The commission will examine bids to operate the scenic lake in November. If a new manager is chosen for the boats, they would be expected to be in place by the time the weather warms up and slow rides across the lake become popular again.

Bruce McMillan of the Stow Lake Corporation said the winter months are a difficult time for his company financially, and to keep them afloat he needs to recuperate his costs in the warmer months. He wanted his current lease to be extended one year, which was allowed under the lease if agreed upon by both parties, but the Recreation and Park Commission denied that request.

Under the new request for a proposal, the rent would be a percentage of the operator’s revenue instead of a $120,000 minimum rent per year as it is under the lease. Also, the operator could get up to $10,000 a year in rental credits for the life of the lease to make necessary improvements to the site, such as making the snack shop compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All improvements would have to be preapproved by the Recreation and Park Commission. There would also be an option to extend the lease by five years after it expired.

sfarooq@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

San Francisco health experts recommend that pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a booster shot. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Questions regarding COVID-19 booster shots for pregnant people have been pouring in… Continue reading

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

The so-called “twindemic” that public health officials in California and elsewhere warned about last year — the combined threat of influenza and COVID-19 — was largely eased by the wide use of face masks, physical distancing and reduced travel, experts say. But their concerns are back this year. (Shutterstock)
COVID and the flu: Is a ‘twindemic’ threat lurking again?

‘Because of so little disease last year, population immunity is likely lower’

49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hopes to return to the field this weekend to lead San Francisco against the Colts. (Photo courtesy of 49ers)
NFL Week 7 picks: Niners face crucial matchup against the Colts

San Francisco could join Seattle on the brink of irrelevancy in the NFC West with another loss

Most Read