- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 15:55
- Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:07
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Colonial Beach Town Council deliberated for almost an hour to decide to whom to award the lease agreement for the building on the Boardwalk located at 108 Taylor St.
In the past, competition between the leasers of this location and nearby vendors had turned into a media circus and been nicknamed “The Hot Dog War”.
Four bids were submitted at the April Council meeting. Councilman Gary Seeber took lead of the discussions by establishing the criteria the Council would use to choose a successful bid. Ultimately, the majority chose to use the highest bidder rather than looking at business strengths.
Mayor Mike Ham pointed out that all the proposed uses were very similar—serving snacks—so he agreed that making a decision based on the highest proposed rent was the best way to decide.
The highest bid came from Donna and John Clayborne, who bid $2,601 per year. The Claybornes want to run their business as a beverage and snack shop, as well as offer beach chair and umbrella rentals. They plan to open from Thursday to Monday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The second highest bid came from Kim Jones. Jones wanted to run the business as a snack and bait shop, with plans to start simple with prepackaged snacks and food. Jones’ family has been running a construction business for 15 years, as well as a lawn service business here in town.
The third highest bid came from two men from out of town who emailed their bid to staff at Town Hall. Alfred McCusker and Ryan Perrott, from Leesburg, VA, submitted a bid of $2,000 a year, and had planned to include breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.
At the bottom of the bidding war was Maryann Day, owner of the Beach Shop on the Boardwalk. Day has been leasing the building at 108 Taylor St. for the last three years as the Snack Shack, and has offered hot dogs, ice cream, ice, and other prepackaged foods. Day’s bid remained at $1,500 per year.
In 2009, the building was in disrepair, and referred to as the “White Building”.
Tom and Emily Garner made a deal with the Town to lease the building for $1, in exchange for renovating the building and bringing it up to code.
The Garners made repairs and operated the Lollygaggin’ Outdoors as a kayak rental business out of the building. The following year, when the building was back up for lease, the Garners planned to expand their business to provide snacks. In addition, they asked for a two-year lease, at a rate of $300 per month.
However in 2010, with great regret, the Garners petitioned the Town to break their lease, having received the joyous news of a new baby on the way.
Maryann Day offered to lease the building and buy the Garners’ equipment. The Days opened the building in April 2010, and continued to operate it for three years.
At the April meeting, the council decided to pass a resolution awarding the lease option to each applicant in the order of highest bidder to lowest. The Claybornes have until close of business on April 17 to sign a lease agreement for the amount of the bid they submitted. If the Claybornes fail to do so, Kim Jones, who is next in line, will have until April 20, to sign a lease. The two men from Leesburg will have a deadline of April 23, to sign a lease if the first two bids do not go through.
The Days’ lease does not run out until the end of April. Mr. Day spoke outside to the Claybornes about selling the equipment they have in the building. If by chance no one else signs a lease, the Days have until April 24 to seal their bid to lease the building for $1,500 for one more year.