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GF&P can't find a new operator for its Lewis and Clark marina

FORT PIERRE — The state Division of Parks and Recreation is starting over in its search for a new concessionaire to run the Lewis and Clark Marina and Resort near Yankton.

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission on Friday rejected the only two proposals received so far.

One lacked the required financial information and the other didn't meet the appraised price of $3,037,000.

The current operator, Russell Marsh, doesn't want to renew the lease he's held since 2005.

GF&P concession manager Sean Blanchette said the prospectus will be revised in hope of attracting an acceptable offer.

Blanchette said the two people who made the proposals were given an extension to bring them into order but neither did by the July 7 deadline.

The settlement agreement reached in February between the commission and Marsh allows him to continue to operate for the 2015 season if he chooses.

Marsh in turn consented that GF&P could find a temporary operator for 2015 who would use Marsh's equipment for a price of 10 percent of its depreciable value.

The settlement calls for Marsh to remove any unsold equipment from the state property at the end of 2015.

"Hopefully we have something to report at the October meeting," Blanchette said.

The commission held its June meeting at Lewis and Clark.

Several members said they were impressed with the accommodations and the commission might return in 2015.

"You guys have put a lot of work and effort into this thing and now it looks like more to come," John Cooper of Pierre, the commission's chairman, told Blanchette.