Public Meeting on the Stow Lake Boathouse Concession

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Public discussion of concession and opportunity for the public to meet the Ortega family.

Information about Ortega Family Enterprises and Stow Lake:

On August 19, 2010, The San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission selected Ortega Family Enterprises to run the historic Stow Lake Boathouse. The Department is in the process of negotiating a lease with Ortega and is hosting this Community meeting to solicit the input of community members.

Ortega Family Enterprises has more than 20 years of experience working in public parkland and 22 years of accident-free boat and kayak rental management experience. Ortega Family Enterprises is a family-run enterprise that emphasizes environmental sustainability and best practices in all phases of its business. It has a track record of turning around under performing park concessions and maximizing their potential, including concessions at four National Park Service locations: Bandelier National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Monument and Muir Woods National Monument in the Bay Area.

Ortega Family Enterprises has proposed the following improvements to the Stow Lake Boathouse operations:

Ø Investment in a new fleet of pedal, row and other boats while
maintaining affordable boat rentals for the public.

Ø Capital improvements to stabilize and improve the boathouse building
while preserving the facility’s historic architecture and charm. All restoration efforts will follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Preservation and will be completed to LEED-certified standards.

Ø A small, informal café that will feature traditional Stow Lake favorite
like pink popcorn, pretzels and animal crackers while also providing a new menu of local, organic, healthy and sustainable food and beverage options. Menu items will remain affordable with most items available ranging from $4.95 to $8.95.

Ø Implementation of ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems,
Certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

In 2009, the Ortega family won the Marin Conservation Council’s Green Business Award for its renovation and rejuvenated operation of the historic Muir Woods concession. They incorporated sustainable construction materials, implemented a trash disposal system that recycles and composts 90 percent of waste, and achieved significant electric and water savings. The Recreation and Park Department is looking to emulate this model at Stow Lake.