NTelos RFP Process Begins

The city of Portsmouth, Va., has begun soliciting proposals from companies to manage its NTELOS Pavilion @ Harbor Center amphitheatre when the current agreement with Harbor Center Joint Venture expires later this year.

About a dozen reps from interested companies, including HCJV, visited the waterfront amphitheatre August 1st for a walk-through and information session to learn more about the facility before submitting bids, due September 2nd.

“It is the city’s goal with this new contract to make this facility a sustainable operation in the future,” city spokesman Kenneth Wheeler told The Virginian-Pilot newspaper. “What we’re looking for here is a lot of creativity.”

The request for proposals is routine for most cities seeking larger contracts. The current deal with HCJV expires this year as part of an agreement that settled a long-running dispute between the partnership and city dating back to hurricane-shortened seasons in 2003 and 2004.

Among those attending the pre-bid session were companies large and small, including Aramark, Global Spectrum, and local concert promoters and arts groups from Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth.

Bill Reid, a partner in HCJV and president of Rising Tide Productions in Norfolk, was also there and told Pollstar that HCJV intends to submit a bid for the management contract.

“It’s a normal thing. All cities that go into contracts over a certain amount of money put out requests for proposals. The contract’s up, so we’re putting one in,” Reid said.

Consultant Bill Luther, who has been hired by Portsmouth to oversee the proposal and hiring process, told The Virginian-Pilot he’d been contacted by many firms interested in the venue and that eventually, the city expected between 750,000 and 1 million visitors to the nTelos Pavilion each season.

“It has a good reputation,” he told the paper. “The facility has recovered real well this year. Now we’re just looking for the best proposal.”