Monday, May 09, 2022

Lt. Gov. Pinnell announces bidding open for new state park restaurant contract

In the aftermath of ongoing scandal over a contractor's sweetheart deal to operate restaurants at multiple state parks and questionable spending (covered well by The Frontier), Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell has re-opened bidding for a new contractor to replace Swadley's Foggy Bottom Kitchen:


OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (May 6th) – One week after accepting a larger oversight role of the agency, Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, in his role as Secretary of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, today provided an update on the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. He also announced a new requests for proposal (RFP) for new state park restaurant concession contract(s).

“The transition is underway at Tourism and we’re committed to protecting the taxpayers at every turn,” said Lt. Gov. Pinnell. “We have filed a lawsuit against Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen to demand access to their financial records, and I am pleased that the Attorney General’s Office is representing the State in this matter. Tourism staff is also communicating with and providing information to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector.”

Lt. Gov. Pinnell also announced that a new RFP for new state park restaurant concession contract(s) is available now and will remain open for at least two weeks. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission will be involved in the new contract arrangement. The RFP can be found at Solicitations - Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. All questions concerning the RFP should be sent to

Additionally, Pinnell is encouraging the Legislature to amend HB 3603, which was passed in 2018 during the prior administration, to reinstate the authority of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission, requiring the Commission to approve all budgets and contracts.

“As the work continues to review operations and processes, it’s important to keep in mind that we have made great progress improving our state parks, and a record amount of visitors are taking notice,” Pinnell added. “I am looking forward to getting our restaurants back open soon and working with our Legislature to continue carrying out Governor Stitt’s vision of making Oklahoma a Top Ten state for tourism.”


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