The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced plans to outsource operations at six of its most popular camping facilities, including Pickwick Dam in Hardin County, The Courier of Savannah, Tenn., reported.
TVA said outsourcing could lead to new features for campers is currently seeking proposals from concessionaires who would manage day-to-day operations and install facility enhancements under the agency’s oversight.
The campgrounds being examined are located at five TVA dam reservations: Watauga, Pickwick, Melton Hill, Cherokee and both the headwater and tailwater camping areas at Douglas.
“Campgrounds have become far more sophisticated since these facilities were initially installed, as have the expectations of those who use them,” said Bucky Edmondson, TVA senior manager for public outreach and recreation.
“While we recognize that TVA must maintain oversight responsibility, we believe that allowing an experienced concessionaire to manage the operation of these facilities and install upgrades, such as electronic reservation systems, Wi-Fi access and campground stores, will result in a better experience for campers.”
Under the proposed agreements, which would take effect in the 2015 camping season, concessionaires will be responsible for day-to-day operations, including collecting fees, facility upkeep and keeping TVA posted on any issues. TVA will set the overnight camping fee structure, with the concessionaire keeping the revenue to provide operating and maintenance funds.
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