Opened the Wall Street Journal this morning, and to my surprise, there was Brannan Island State Recreation Area on page 3 (pictures at link, article behind paywall).
The article about American Land and Leisure (ALL)1 taking over operations for Brannan Island provides enough grist for a series of blog posts. I will spare you that, but offer a few quick thoughts/observations:
1. It seems to me that this concession agreement is clearly a covered action that will eventually require a consistency determination with the Stewardship Council's Delta Plan. [Update: It seems I was wrong about this. Please click through to comments to read an explanation for why it is not a covered action from Dan Ray of the DSC.]
2. If ALL is more successful than state parks at operating Brannan (meaning they don't lose money, take care of the resource, and visitors are satisfied), will that make the realization of the ambitious State Parks plan for the Delta (which includes adding 4 new parks) more likely or less likely?
3. From the article, it appears that State Parks is guaranteed some payment from ALL (maximum of fixed bid or a percentage) regardless of whether or not they turn a profit at Brannan Island. If the state can get that kind of return on a park where costs were double revenue, the implications for the system are interesting.
4. Most importantly, I am very glad the park isn't closing.
Funny for me to see this well written article written by Max Taves, as I have had a few recent conversations with him about Stockton bankruptcy and the regional economy. I'll have to ask him about his impressions of the Delta.