DNREC to Host Public Meeting Dec. 5 on Proposed Restaurant for Cape Henlopen State Park

Below is the press release from DNREC. I’ve been asked many times what do I think. I think this is a bad idea. That section of park is closed at night. Mainly because there is a a youth camp. Just look at all of the problems they have in Pot Nets Bayside from the Paradise bar complex. Same will be an issue in Cape times ten, in front of kids that don’t need to see adults on a drunken safari. The lifeguards already have issues with inebriated people and swimming at the North side beach. Same problem will occur with a bar in Cape.
Also driving out of the park. The Lewes-Rehoboth highway is going to get a workout. Tha tis the drive on accesses from Gordon’s pond to Herring Point. The beaches don’t need more stuck vehicles. Parks already has enough drinking and driving issues on the beaches, that can’t be regulated. They could put this at the pier and then it is next to the ranger station and only a quick turn to leave the park. It’s funny but we can’t get to the point after dusk to drive out and surf fish, but open a bar and the park is wide open. So if this does pass I hope we can now drive out via the point twenty four hours when it is open for the season. Just saying. I’m mostly going for the stuck vehicle count and the fishing. There are more stuck vehicles at night on summer weekends for a reason.

Dover (Nov 21, 2022) … The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host a public meeting to solicit feedback on the potential of a new restaurant at Cape Henlopen State Park Monday, Dec. 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cape Henlopen High School auditorium. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation will share a presentation about the proposal and gather public input on the proposed restaurant which would be located at the north side of the park’s main beach parking lot.

The proposed restaurant came from a publicly bid request for proposal (RFP) to manage the park’s main beach area concession, which includes amenity rentals such as chairs and umbrellas, with the potential for expanded visitor services. The RFP was spurred by visitor surveys, which showed park users wanted a higher level of food service and improvements to visitor amenities. The Cape Henlopen State Park concession contract was issued for a term of one year, with exclusive rights to negotiate with DNREC for an extension of up to 24 years.

La Vida Hospitality LLC was awarded the contract by DNREC in April to manage the existing main beach food concession. As part of that agreement, there was a provision for researching the feasibility of adding a restaurant and new restrooms, with time set aside allowing both parties to conduct due diligence before any final decisions are made regarding the proposed restaurant.

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Additionally, as part of that research, Division of Parks and Recreation staff continue to gather data regarding natural and cultural resources in the area, and seek public input regarding the levels of service provided at the site – such as accessibility, restrooms and improved food service. The upcoming public meeting continues that outreach effort. 

The division also held an open house at Cape Henlopen State Park in June to share information and gather public feedback about capital projects and proposed planning efforts, including the proposed restaurant, to improve the park’s amenities and conserve Cape Henlopen’s natural and cultural resources. DNREC extended a public comment period following that meeting and shared the feedback received with the Parks and Recreation Council during its Nov. 3 quarterly meeting, at which public comment on the potential project also was accepted.

Anyone unable to attend the Dec. 5 public meeting but wanting to give feedback on the proposed restaurant may do so by visiting destateparks.com/contact and selecting “Cape Henlopen Restaurant Proposal” from the Delaware State Parks location drop-down menu.

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