The United States Department of Agriculture has selected ReserveAmerica to manage the expansion of the online campground reservation system for the National Park Service and four other federal land management agencies.
The three-and-a-half-year, performance-based contract, which provides for additional option periods for a total contract period not to exceed 10 years, is potentially worth as much as $128 million, the USDA said in a statement Monday (Aug. 9).
ReserveAmerica, a subsidiary of New York City-based InterActiveCorp and sister company of Los Angeles-based Ticketmaster, will manage a single, interagency federal recreation information and reservation service through a single web portal: www.recreation.gov.
The website, which is already online, will eventually serve as a one-stop-shop for consumers wishing to book more than 57,000 campsites, cabins and tours in parks managed by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.
“By late 2004, this new service will offer customers the ability to do their trip planning and to make campsite and tour reservations all on one site,” Interior Secretary Gale Norton said.
The two current reservation services, the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) at www.reserveusa.com and the National Park Reservation Service (NPRS) at www.reservations.nps.gov, will continue to be operational for making reservations until the integration is completed. At that point, www.recreation.gov will serve as the sole web portal for making reservations.
It could not be immediately determined what percentage of the campsites in federally controlled parks and recreation areas are currently available online. However, federal officials told RVBUSINESS.com that the government’s focus has been to make the most developed campsites available for reservation online.
The USDA reported that ReserveAmerica will consolidate and expand the existing federal reservation services and agencies may add other sites that are currently individually reserved at the local level.
“This multiagency approach for one-stop shopping for federal recreation site reservations capitalizes on our commitment to deliver customer-friendly services to our visitors,” said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. “By working together, we have designed a convenient, flexible and responsive service for recreation seekers to make their reservations.”
In addition to being a pioneer in the field of online campground reservations, ReserveAmerica is the largest provider of online campground reservations in North America, managing more than 150,000 campsites. Its clients include several federal land management and state park agencies.