Alberta Parks, Kananaskis Region Contract Opportunity

Posted on: September 16th, 2011

Bob tweeted about this, so here we go, all the details about this contract:

CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY POSTING:

Alberta Parks/Kananaskis Country 
Contract Opportunity for Development of Park Education Retail Store 
Deadline to submit proposal: September 28, 2011
Contract commencement: October 5, 2011
Completion of deliverables by: December 21, 2011
Contract Value: $10,000

Background:
Alberta’s provincial parks inspire people to discover, value, protect, and enjoy the natural world and all its benefits for current and future generations.” A retail store in a provincial park visitor centre can support this vision by providing opportunities to purchase (or rent) appropriate products that help individuals discover, value, protect, and enjoy parks and protected areas.

Visitor Information Centre (VIC) stores have been operating in the Kananaskis Region for over a decade at Barrier Lake VIC, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park VIC, Elbow Valley VIC, and Bow Valley VIC. Combined, these sites receive an annual visitation of nearly 250,000 people, and are staffed by six (full-time equivalent) Visitor Information Officers. There is also an emerging opportunity and interest in the creation of an Alberta Parks online store to compliment the nine physical stores throughout the province. The current retail model must be revised to meet both the in-park mandate of the stores and the future online operations. Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation is seeking a new model that will enhance our vision as stated above and will best serve the public as they visit and care for Kananaskis Country (and all provincial parks). Further, revenue generated by these stores offers an opportunity for the public to support parks through their purchases, an opportunity for parks to support internal and external public engagement and conservation initiatives, and an opportunity for local business development through the sale of local products or the involvement of local retailers in the operation of the stores.

Contract Overview: 
This contract opportunity is for the development of a) business plan, b) product line, and c) operational plan for an Alberta Parks retail store in the Kananaskis Country Visitor Information Centres. Outcomes of this pilot will inform the future operations of the stores in Kananaskis Country and throughout the province, as well as provide input/analysis for future development of an online retail program to complement the physical retail operation (note: this contract is for the physical VIC stores – the online store will be developed at a later date). There is a strong potential to extend this opportunity with the pilot operation of the Kananaskis retail stores through to November 2012 with renewed deliverables and terms.

Deliverables: 
By December 21, 2011, the contractor will be expected to:

1. Review current retail operations in Kananaskis Country visitor centres.
2. Review and report on best practices in similar park stores.
3. Assess regional partnership opportunities (e.g. Tourism Canmore Kananaskis partners, existing facility operators, local retailers and non-profits, etc.)
4. Identify potential market niches unique to an “Alberta Parks” store (e.g. sale or rental of safety equipment, maps, GPS, foodstuffs, high-quality recreation and education products, products of non-profit partners, and Alberta Parks branded items), in both the region and province-wide and via online sales.
5. Prototype/design an initial suite of products unique to “Alberta Parks” stores in general, “Kananaskis Country” in particular, as well as a storefront at one or more of the VIC stores mentioned above.
6. Develop procedures for retail operations, including specific sales goals and target outcomes, inventory management, point-of-sale, training, evaluation, marketing, and so on.
7. Identify potential overlap or common needs (e.g. inventory management) between physical stores and future online retail operations.
8. Develop and present recommended options for the ongoing operation of these stores in a manner that meets the mandate of Alberta Parks, without putting strain on other visitor information services or front-line staff.

Terms: 
The contractor will work closely with regional and provincial Tourism, Parks and Recreation staff to ensure the store meets both the mandate and the expected outcomes of such an operation. The contractor must operate in the Kananaskis region (e.g. Canmore, Kananaskis, or Calgary), and will be supported by a regional working group with guidance from the Edmonton head office.

This contract may be applied to post-secondary education practicum or co-op terms, based on individual merit and program relevance. Rental accommodation in Kananaskis may be available in order to reduce travel costs.

Application Process: 
Contract applicants must provide a cover letter, résumé, and references that highlight their experience and knowledge in all aspects of small-scale retail operations. They must also provide a project proposal and plan that outlines how they will achieve the contract deliverables and what portion of the funding would be applied to three components of: a) a business plan, b) the initial product line, and c) the operational plan. The successful bid will build the strongest foundation for a pilot launch of these physical retail stores by spring 2012.

Familiarity with Alberta provincial parks, conservation, environmental education, and outdoor recreation is an asset. Digital applications in .pdf format are preferred.

Submissions must be received by September 28, 2011 at 4:30pm to:
jenny.palmer@gov.ab.ca, subject line “Retail Contract Application”
or
Kananaskis Retail Contract Application
Suite 201, 800 Railway Avenue, Canmore Provincial Building
Canmore, Alberta T1W 1P1
For more information, contact 403-678-5508

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