(April 9, 2021) Springfest organizers scrambled this week to get an agreement in place with a tent provider for the event, after bids that were submitted in late 2020 were much higher than expected.
Special Events Director Frank Miller approached City Council members during their meeting on Monday to ask permission to enter into a contract with Pittsburgh company J.V. Chujko Inc. to provide tents for the event, scheduled for May 6-9 in the inlet parking lot.
Miller said when an RFP to provide tents for the three large events – Springfest, Sunfest and Winterfest of Lights – was put out for bids in December, he was surprised at what he saw.
“Those bids did come back quite a bit higher than what we had budgeted for in previous years and what we were willing to accept as an opportunity for use moving forward,” he told the board.
For reference, Miller said the standard tent layout for Springfest in 2019 was budgeted for $96,500.
When the previous company that provided tents for Ocean City for nearly two decades submitted its bid in December, their proposal went from $96,500 to $157,172.
“It was a substantial increase for that event as well as what we saw for Sunfest,” Miller said.
Miller and his team looked at additional companies to manage the needs for Springfest only because it was coming up quickly and found that J.V. Chujko could provide a modified tent layout formulated for social distancing during the covid-19 pandemic for $68,545.
To proceed with a contract with the Pittsburgh company, the council needed to give the thumbs-up.
“It’s definitely more in line with what we had in the past,” Miller said.
Councilman Mark Paddack asked who would provide tents for Sunfest and Winterfest, during the meeting, and Miller said he was looking at doing another contract with J.V. Chujko, though one of the previous bidders said they would like to be able to submit bid for those events. With that being the case, Miller said he may open a new RFP.
Also, if an RFP is opened, the previous provider will be able to submit a new bid as well, possibly more in line with what the city has budgeted
Without much more discussion, the council voted 7-0 allow Miller to give J.V. Chujko a contract for Sunfest.