Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announce that National and State Park Concessions Riding Stables, Inc. (NSPC) has been selected for a new 10-year concession contract to operate the horse riding stables in Cades Cove. The current contract for these services is already held by National and State Park Concessions Riding Stables, but is set to expire on December 31. The new concession contract will take effect on January 1, 2016.
The award of the new contract resulted from a bidding process required by the 1998 Concessions Management Improvement Act, through which concession contract proposals for the park were solicited by the National Park Service. Offers were received, reviewed and rated by a team of National Park Service professionals to ensure the selected proposal provided the best experience for visitors and best protection of park resources.
“Great Smoky Mountains National Park looks forward to continuing our working relationship with NSPC at the horse riding stables,” said Park Superintendent, Cassius Cash. “Together we will work to provide a quality visitor experience in Cades Cove while protecting the natural and cultural resources found there.”
National and State Park Concessions Riding Stables has operated the riding stables in Cades Cove since January 2009. They are a family owned company who also operate concessions at Wekiwa Springs and Jonathan Dickinson State Parks in Florida.
“NSPC is thrilled to be selected once again to serve the Great Smoky Mountains National Park family,” said Jack Bobo, Jr., President of NSPC. “We would like to thank the extraordinary people with whom we have formed close partnerships over the last seven years—the park service employees, our equine rescue partners, our loyal customers, and the surrounding community—for supporting our commitment to providing a high-quality experience with healthy, happy horses. We look forward to expanding our partnerships with the local equine community and discovering new ways to delight and serve our customers.”
For more information about Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Concessions Management Program, please contact Molly Schroer, Concessions Specialist, at 865-436-1209.
NPS Photo: Horses graze in Cades Cove at Great Smoky Mountains National Park by Warren Bielenberg