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Ski tour company beats park service in Grand Teton lawsuit

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at 8:28 a.m.

Summon the snow metaphors! A federal court has ruled the National Park Service acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" in handling concession contract for ski touring at Grand Teton National Park.

In a 61-page decision issued Thursday, Senior Judge Lynn J. Bush of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims sided with a company called Eco Tour Adventures.

Bush declined, though, to order the park service to block the new contracts. Instead, the judge directed the park service to pay Eco Tour's bid preparation costs.

"The court encourages the parties to resolve the bid preparation costs issue amicably," Bush wrote, perhaps wistfully.

Kevin R. Garden, an attorney based in Northern Virginia, represented Eco Tour.

Eco Tour had challenged park service plans to issue two concession contracts to incumbent firms, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Corporation and The Hole Hiking Experience.

The contracts are for guided cross-country ski touring services, including associated transportation and food services.

Eco Tour alleged the park service improperly determined that Jackson Hole’s and Hole Hiking’s proposals were “responsive” to the requirements of the prospectus and by allowing them to match the better terms of Eco Tour’s proposals for contracts. The challenger also alleged park service officials improperly disclosed to the incumbent firms information that Eco Tour marked as confidential.


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