Two Rivers gets food deal, for now
Two Rivers Convention Center will provide food and beverage services at least in the interim at two Grand Junction city golf courses.
A new bidding and evaluation process to locate qualified, private-sector vendors will take at least two months, the city’s Parks and Recreation Director Rob Schoeber said.
City staff members have been tasked by the Grand Junction City Council to completely redo the bidding process, this time leaving out the city’s interest to provide services at Tiara Rado and Lincoln Park golf courses.
It’s unclear which entities will come forward after watching the first bidding process unfold. City Council members at an early January meeting reprimanded city staff for including itself in the bidding process and, after an evaluation by mostly city staff, recommending the convention center as the most qualified bidder.
If no other bidders come forward for the upcoming bid process, the city will become the concessionaire by default.
“Now they get back to Two Rivers, which is what they really wanted,” said Steve Hoefer, who had operated the Pinon Grill restaurant at Tiara Rado for the past 14 years. “I’m really not very happy about dealing with this whole thing.”
Hoefer, along with Ginny and J.T. Venema and Two Rivers, had submitted bids for providing food and beverage services at the golf courses. According to the evaluations, Two Rivers earned the highest scores, followed by Venema, with Pinon Grill coming in third.
The Venemas did not return calls from the Sentinel to find out if they would bid again.
Hoefer said he is not interested in bidding for the contract again, partly because he wants to try something different after a life’s work in the restaurant industry.
Hoefer said he felt ambushed when city staff, during a public meeting, aired complaints about his services and his alleged failure to always provide monthly statements. Hoefer said city staff told him he did not supply statements for May, August, September and October. Hoefer contends he turned all of those into the course’s golf professional, Rob Stong.
“I don’t know what he did with them,” Hoefer said.
Hoefer’s contract was up for renewal in 2010, and it was extended for a year. Hoefer signed an agreement with the city with contingencies to keep the restaurant facilities open during golf course hours, provide all financial reports and maintain access for golfers.
Hoefer said the city is looking at doing away with most of the banquet services at the restaurant and turning the atmosphere more into a pub-style theme.
City staff said one of the more common complaints came from golfers saying there sometimes wasn’t room in the restaurant areas when parties were booked. Hoefer questioned how a business could make a go of it without offering banquet services, which made up about 35 percent of business.