County Parks Seeks New Reservation System

Orange County is looking for help from IT companies to update how it provides park space reservations and sales online.

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One of Southern California’s best-known local governments is seeking assistance from IT vendors to improve access to a key resource.

Acting on behalf of Orange County Parks, Orange County and Orange County Community Resources Purchasing and Contracts Services has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a “reservation and point-of-sale system for OC Park.” Among the takeaways:

  • OC Parks manages nearly 60,000 acres of parks and open space, according to the RFP. This includes 10 “turf parks” with shelters and/or day use areas and meeting rooms; two parks with camping options of around 190 campsites, day use areas and equestrian camping; three “historic parks” with meeting facilities; four wilderness parks; several beach locations; and a zoo. In 2019, the department received 3,689 reservations for shelter, 26,465 for camping, 639 for group camping, 1,616 for sports fields and 1,529 for meeting rooms. It accepts cash, Master Card, Visa, Discover, checks and debit cards as forms of payment. The parks department needs a contractor to “design, provide and implement a complete, self-supporting business solution” that will meet its “centralized reservation, registration, point of sale (POS), marketing and other administrative sale needs.”
  • Contractor qualifications include having successfully done similar services; at least three years’ experience developing a reservation and point-of-sale system and providing maintenance, “preferably for parks system of similar size to OC Parks”; and being Payment Card Industry — Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliant.
  • Deliverables consist of the labor, materials and equipment needed to provide the system; and to “build, maintain, evaluate and track success of the reservation and point-of-sale system.” Reservation and POS needs include an “easily customizable” system capable of working on mobile and desktop; the ability for user login and individual account creation; saving of pertinent transaction information; the ability for public and staff to change reservations; integration with an existing separate payment portal; and the ability to maintain 100 unique users in the reservation system and around 30 simultaneous logins. The county's existing reservation system company pays the credit card fees associated with transactions. In 2019, that amounting to an estimated 62,000 transactions and about $2.2 million. The county currently contracts with a parking company to supply annual OC Park passes good at all facilities that charge for parking – a “credit card-style” pass sold at parks facilities and online. The county seeks a solution that will enable the “nonpayment data entered for these cards in the POS system ... to be exported for use in analysis of our customer use patterns.” Customer-facing needs include customizable maps, facility and site details, interactive reservation capabilities and credit card payment options. Administration-facing needs include the ability to add park locations; role-based security for different access levels by multiple users; the ability to edit fees and set up special account codes; user transfer from one site to another; real-time reservations; and the ability to print and reprint receipts. System requirements include the ability to integrate with OC Parks’ existing website, the ability for the reservations system to link to the county’s ArcGIS system and the ability to integrate with the POS system.
  • The contract’s term is five years; its precise value is not stated. Written questions are due by 4 p.m. June 15. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. June 30 and will be evaluated July 20. Electronic oral interviews, as needed, will be done Aug. 23. A solicitation award is expected Sept. 1 with a contract start date to be determined.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.