John L. Thompson, head of the Nature Preservation Foundation (NPF), said Monday that the bid deadlines for the renovation and operation of the Coconut Park attraction at Hope Gardens, St Andrew - said to be ideal for a water park - have expired without a single formal offer.
The original deadline in July was extended to the end of August.
"There were several overtures, including from organisations involved in attractions locally, but they have not been followed with proposals. Some wrote to us, but within the prescribed time, they have not come back with an offer," said Thompson.
Nature Preservation, a non-profit entity partially subsidised by the Jamaican Government, will not open a new tender as it has now fulfilled the requirement for public requests.
"We have done what we were supposed to do, which is to publicly make requests. We will need to meet as a board to determine what comes next," he said.
Thompson said that the board is open to considering private proposals which, he said, would be reviewed in a transparent manner.
"We will not entertain private deals - no friend and friend. All deals will be above board," the NPF head said.
NPF has a 49-year lease from the Government for Hope Gardens, and part of its business plan includes the recreation and recommissioning of Coconut Park as a commercial venture under partnership. As a non-profit, NPF cannot directly operate a profit-making venture.
Nature Preservation is banking on the revived attraction generating enough income - either by lease or profit share - to reduce or even wipe out a big deficit, which the 230-acre Hope Gardens property runs from year to year.
Meanwhile, the chairman notes NPF currently receives no lease revenue from the Kenny Benjamin-operated Hope Zoo, but that this had been sanctioned by the foundation's board in exchange for identified renovation work, which is already far advanced.
"We gave them a moratorium," Thompson said. As to the terms of that arrangement, Thompson said he did not have immediate access to the specifics.
Coconut Park was closed in June 1997 when its operator, Fair Share Foundation, ran into financial difficulties and concerns were raised about the safety of the rides.
NPF has indicated that the cost of renovating and reopening the park will range between US$1 million and US$2.5 million.