Update: Will Rogers Horse Concession

Last December 16, the Palisades News ran a story about the Will Rogers State Historic Park equestrian lessons and trail-riding concession bids by three companies: Westside Riding School, Ride On and Jigsaw Farms (“Will Rogers Horse Concession Contested”).

The 10-year concession contract included a minimum payment of $60,000 a year. Utilities cost about $8,000 and the contract included $300,000 for facility improvements paid by the concessionaire.

The three companies received points in individual categories. When those points were totaled (100 being the highest), Jigsaw received 89, Westside 85 and Ride On 80.

Cooper North and Daisy the Horse are under the supervision of Dorte Lindegaard Wolf. Photo: Wendy Price Anderson

Cooper North and Daisy the Horse are under the supervision of Dorte Lindegaard Wolf.
Photo: Wendy Price Anderson

Although Jigsaw won the concession, the other two applicants filed a protest contending that the company was not well-vetted and lacked the requisite experience.

On July 19, Administrative Law Judge Jonathan Lew announced after briefs were filed that Westside would remain the concessionaire until another bid process is announced.

Jigsaw’s claims on a number of counts were disavowed and the court found the state to have awarded Jigsaw points that were not sustained. Judge Lew held that “[t]he Department improperly awarded small-business preference points to Jigsaw” and that “[t]he Department’s awarding of a small-business preference points to Jigsaw constituted an abuse of its discretion.”

Westside was represented by Jonathan Shardlow of Gresham Savage. In a press release he wrote: “We are very grateful to the department for acknowledging that it improperly determined that Jigsaw should be awarded the contract. The school very much looks forward to continuing to serve the public that frequents this beautiful, his- toric park, and in maintaining an excellent relationship with the department.”

Westside initially operated under a two-year concession contract, but has been on a month-to-month status since 2008. In 2015, the Department awarded the contract to Jigsaw after its Request for Proposals bid scored the most points.

Shardlow noted that Jigsaw failed to substantiate that it had five years of experience owning, managing or operating a business of similar type, size and scope as the concession.

The protest filed by Ride On was denied.

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