WATONGA, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department held its fifth open house to gather responses from all parties or suppliers interested in providing restaurant services at Oklahoma State Parks.

“My top priority since joining the agency has been to find a new partner or partners to restore our parks’ restaurant services,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OTRD Executive Director, previously in a statement to KFOR.

“In order to make sure we are looking at all potential ideas and service options for our state park restaurants, we decided to use the RFI format. This allows us to gather ideas and questions from the public to understand how the state can best serve the communities that support the parks and offer full transparency to potential vendors so they can submit an informed bid on the RFP once the RFI closes.”  

During Thursday’s open house at the Roman Nose State Park, interested vendors and suppliers had the opportunity to tour restaurant facilities and ask questions regarding the RFI process and share ideas for the future of Oklahoma State Parks.  

Zumwalt said the pending partnership could be presented.

“We have a request for information or an RFI that we’ve released related to the six restaurants at our state parks. We’re looking for vendors for them. We can have one for all of them or individually different vendors,” she said.

“We haven’t put any hard lines and said this is what we have to have and this is what is required [for future proposals] because we really want to look and see how [potential partners] would make it successful,” she added.

Following the close and review of responses, the agency plans to release a request for proposal (RFP) for state park restaurant operations.  

A final RFI open house will be held on Monday, February 6th, at Beavers Bend State Park in Broken Bow.