Parties interested in operating and managing Haiku Stairs as a concession are being asked by the city to submit proposals under a formal Request for Information issued by the city today.
The city is seeking — through a later, separate competitive solicitation — an entity to provide a managed, fee-based access to Haiku Stairs for recreational purposes, the city said in a release. The qualified organization would need to be able to restore, operate and maintain the stairs for a pre-determined period of time, the release said.
The stairs, part of a World War II era military installation, have been closed to the public for decades but the asset is still visited daily by throngs of hiking enthusiasts who ignore both security guards and trespassing signs. That’s led to complaints by residents about hikers trespassing on and vandalizing their properties while traveling to and from the stairs.
The quasi-independent Honolulu Board of Water Supply owns the land on which the stairs sit. Noting that it costs $250,000 annually to hire security to deter trespasses, both BWS management and its board are eager to unload it.
A final environmental impact statement released last month restated the board’s intent to either remove the stairs or turn them over to another government entity because of the ongoing liability and security costs tied to retaining the asset.
BWS spokesman Kathleen Pahinui said the board will wait until March 24, the end of the challenge period for the FEIS, before deciding its next move.
In the RFI, the city wants information regarding procurement structure, financial/commercial feasibility, technical feasibility, and other issues surrounding a concession at Haʻikū Stairs.
The submittal should include explaining if a self-sustaining operation could be achieved if fees are charge of locals and visitors, if five years is long enough for an organization to recover its costs, and if the organization making the submittal can meet minimum qualifications.
Responses to the RFI must be received no later than 4 p.m. Feb. 28.
Submittals can be sent to:
Office of the Purchasing Division, Department of Budget and Fiscal Servies
City and County of Honoulu
530 South King Street, Room 114
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813.