Forest Service finalizes deal for Recreation One-Stop.gov

The Forest Service expects to provide consolidated reservation services by early next year, now that a bidder has settled the legal dispute over the award of the $97 million National Recreation Reservation System.

Spherix Inc. of Beltsville, Md., agreed to a $6 million settlement to end the contract dispute. The Forest Service, an agency of the Agriculture Department, twice awarded the 10-year contract, the last time in June 2005, to ReserveAmerica, a subsidiary of Ticketmaster. The Government Accountability Office ruled twice in favor of Spherix in the company's protests of the award of the recreation information and reservation service contract to ReserveAmerica of Ballston Spa, N.Y.

The Forest Service gave ReserveAmerica a start-work order Oct. 20, two days after the parties finalized the settlement, said Jim Bedwell, national director of recreation and heritage resources at the Forest Service.

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