The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and La Vida Hospitality have mutually decided not to move forward at this time with a proposed restaurant for Cape Henlopen State Park, DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation Director Ray Bivens announced during a public meeting about the project Monday evening at Cape Henlopen High School.
La Vida Hospitality LLC was awarded a publicly bid one-year contract by DNREC in April to manage the existing main beach food concession while both parties conducted due diligence on La Vida’s proposal to extend the contract and build a restaurant at the park’s main beach area. DNREC determined that the necessary environmental review and contract negotiation could not be completed by the contract’s expiration date of Dec. 31 and with La Vida Hospitality LLC in agreement, has chosen to the end the project.
The proposed restaurant came from a request for proposal (RFP) to manage the park’s main beach area concession, which includes food service and amenity rentals such as chairs and umbrellas, with the potential for added services such as a restaurant. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation initiated an extensive review process for the proposed project in May, which included review of the natural and cultural resources, a public comment period and internal contract evaluation.
The division will continue to gather data regarding natural and cultural resources in the area and to seek public input regarding the levels of service provided at the site as it proceeds with planning improvements to amenities at the main beach area, including the existing Sen. David B. McBride Bathhouse and the north day-use beach crossing.
Needed improvements for Cape Henlopen State Park include expanded food service, ADA-accessible restrooms and beach crossings. Location, hours of operation, traffic, lighting and noise restrictions will remain key considerations with any improvements.
DNREC also announced today that additional visitor surveys and site reviews will be conducted prior to future RFPs for visitor enhancements to the area.