Letter Urges Discussion Of Del Valle Kayak Concession

The kayak concession at Lake Del Valle south of Livermore has not met expected performance criteria, so an agreement for its continued operation should not be approved without careful evaluation and public discussion, according to a Livermore resident with a background in outdoor recreation.

East Bay Regional Park District, which manages Del Valle for the state, has lost significant revenues under the present kayak concessionaire, according to Philip Pierpont, the Livermore resident.

“EBRPD received approximately $20,400 from the previous concessionaire in 2014…almost $16,000 more” than the $4,500 it received in 2017 from the current concessionaire, Outback Adventures of Fremont, he wrote in a letter to the Park District board.

Furthermore, the previous concessionaire paid for repairs, maintenance and improvements on kayak facilities at Del Valle, while the current one has not lived up to promises to build a new building that it claimed would provide a more “professional,” “welcoming” and less “temporary” feeling to the concession, Pierpont wrote.

In his letter, he urged EBRPD not to deal with the extension of the kayak concession agreement in a simple consent calendar, which was scheduled to be heard as The Independent went to press on Tuesday.

Instead, “the item (should be removed) from the consent agenda (in order to) have an open and informed discussion among the entire board and staff before deciding the matter.”

Pierpont said he wrote the letter as an individual and a taxpayer who uses the parks frequently. He is well aware of kayak operations both generally and at Del Valle, since he is the manager of Sunrise Mountaineering, the Livermore outdoor store that was the previous kayak concessionaire at the park.

He is also a director of the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District, but he emphasized that his letter to EBRPD is a personal communication.