The National Park Service awarded a two-year contract to B&G Outdoor Recreation, Inc. on Friday that would allow the Massachusetts boating company to open shop on the property along the Georgetown waterfront that has housed Jack’s Boathouse since 1973.
B&G Outdoor Recreation, Inc., also known as Boating in Boston, owns six boat rental and storage businesses in the Boston area.
NPS sent a notice of eviction to Jack’s Boathouse in December because it claims the property rights were not properly transferred after Frank Baxter and Paul Simkin took over boathouse operations following the death of Baxter’s father, Jack, in 2009.
The government agency determined that Jack’s Boathouse would have to compete with other businesses to bid on the rights to operate a commercial venture on the property under a concession contract, which is standard practice for land owned by the NPS.
Simkin, however, refused to compete for the property rights, telling the Georgetown Patch that NPS was “forcing us to bid to run our own business.”
Simkin has no plans to leave anytime soon. Simkin’s attorney Charles Camp has threatened to sue both the park service and any new business that attempts to operate on the property.
Camp says the land belongs to the District of Columbia, not NPS, and that the agency therefore has no authority to evict the boathouse.
Jack’s Boathouse can continuing operating until the legal dispute is settled, which could take some time. Camp told The Washington City Paper that litigation could drag on for several years.