USDA awards contract for Recreation One-Stop

The Agriculture Department's Forest Service awarded ReserveAmerica of Ballston Spa, N.Y., a contract to provide a single, interagency federal recreation information and reservation service.

The National Recreation Reservation Service will consolidate and expand the existing federal reservation services, and agencies may add other sites that are currently individually reserved at the local level, Agriculture said today. It will begin operating in late 2004.

Duration of the performance-based contract will be three and a half years, with a total potential value of $128 million. It provides for additional options of up to 10 years.

The new service is part of the President's E-Gov Recreation One-Stop Initiative and will offer centralized shopping to the public for more than 57,000 campgrounds, cabins, parks, and tours of national sites, historic homes and caves.

Participating agencies are Agriculture's Forest Service, Interior Department's National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation, and the Army Corps of Engineers. (Click for GCN story)

'By working together, we have designed a convenient, flexible and responsive service for recreation seekers to make their reservations,' said Agriculture secretary Ann Veneman.

The reservation service will operate through multiple sales channels, including telephone contact centers, online reservations and walk-up field reservations at some locations. Expanded service under the new contract will include one Web-based portal at www.recreation.gov to make reservations. More than 50 percent of reservations are now made via the Internet.

This site will be a comprehensive source of information about thousands of federal recreation areas and opportunities. Interactive maps and text searches will allow customers to discover which parks, forests, lakes, museums and other recreation sites managed by government agencies are located near a particular area or offer specific recreational opportunities.

"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," said Interior secretary Gale Norton.

The two current reservation services'the existing National Recreation Reservation Service at www.reserveusa.com and the National Park Reservation Service will continue to operate until the integration is final.

At that point, the www.recreation.gov site, which is already operational, will be the sole Web portal for making reservations. Current reservations will be honored and outstanding reservations will be transferred to the new system once it is operational.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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