Chapter 4 – Environmental Stewardship
(Excerpt 4.4) The National Park Service’s (NPS) mission is to “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.”
Unable to meet the financial needs of maintaining and preserving the acreage and historic buildings due to federal cut backs to the Department of Interior in 1999, the National Park Service released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for private developers and operators to preserve the historic property and operate a hospitality destination.
The RFQ stipulated “preservation of historic structures and natural features of the site through selection of compatible uses and rehabilitation, restoration and other site improvements.
A retreat and conference center would be created in the historic buildings around the parade ground and in the adjacent non- historic Capehart area. A program element would be developed to create a distinct identity for the retreat and conference center and to strengthen the relationship of uses of the center’s facilities to National Park purposes and the National Park mission. New compatibly designed construction would provide adequate space for meetings, dining and accommodations.”
Over half a dozen groups submitted their qualifications and vision for the historic Fort Baker property. The proposal of Passport Resorts and Equity Community Builders was accepted to submit a more detailed proposal for the preservation, development, and future operations of the project for the duration of at least 65 years. Although each submission was unique in its approach, the Passport Resort submission was chosen for its credentials in developing and operating sustainable hospitality destinations, attention to service and guest experience, reduced number of rooms (hence cutting down on environmental impact and local traffic), and community relations.