Camden Snow Bowl seeks food service vendor

By Susan Mustapich | Sep 05, 2017

CAMDEN — The Camden Snow Bowl is seeking proposals for the operation of the food concession in the lodge for the 2017-18 ski season.

Proposals are due by 1:30 p.m. Sept. 25.

The concession must be open a minimum of every weekday afternoon that the Snow Bowl is open, and all day during weekends, holidays and during school vacations when the ski area is operating, according to the request for proposals.  From mid-to-late December through mid-to-late March, the hours of operation are typically 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends, holidays and vacations. While traditionally the kitchen has been open the same operating times as the ski area, this will be negotiable for the upcoming season.

The stated intent of the request for proposals is to provide healthy food at a reasonable cost to the Snow Bowl's winter sports visitors while sharing in the profit with the concessionaire.

French & Brawn has operated the food concession at the Snow Bowl for many years.

The last time a request for proposals was issued for the operation of the Snow Bowl food concession dates back to the fall of 2011, according to the minutes of a Nov. 16, 2011, Select Board meeting. At that meeting, former Town Manager Patricia Finnigan reported that the town received two proposals from prospective vendors. Snow Bowl management staff recommended that the Select Board reject the proposals, and instead enter into negotiations with the current vendor. At the Dec. 20, 2011, Select Board meeting, members unanimously approved the victualer's license for Mike's Catering, doing business as French & Brawn at the Camden Snow Bowl.

In Dec. 2014, Patrick Cazemajou, who at the time owned the restaurant Ephemere on Bay View Street, proposed operating a 20-foot food truck during the winter season at the Snow Bowl to serve crepes, waffles and sandwiches. The Select Board unanimously denied the request. Issues discussed prior to the vote included the lack of an ordinance to allow food trucks at the Snow Bowl and competing with the food vendor in the lodge.

During the 2015-16 ski season, vendors at the Snow Bowl found themselves at center stage in a controversy between town officials over who was allowed to operate businesses at the ski area.

For the 2015-2016 ski season, Cold Toes Taco was given permission to operate a taco stand on the mountainside by the town administration. The permission was revoked Jan. 7, 2016, and the stand was banned from the mountain, until Brian Beggarly, chef and owner of Boyton McKay, received approval to return from the Zoning Board of Appeals. A mountain bike concession at the base of the ski mountain operated by Sidecountry Sports went through the same approval, removal and Zoning Board Appeal, with the same results.

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