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Park Board extends Civic Center concessions contract

A one-year contract extension for concessions services at Mayo Civic Center won Rochester Park Board approval Tuesday.

More than a mere extension, however, the new contract sets higher performance goals for the vendor, J&S of Rochester. The company is owned by Rochester businessman Joe Powers.

The exclusive agreement, already signed by Powers, will pay J&S of Rochester a $60,000 annual management fee, plus incentives based on sales volumes and the outcome of a customer-satisfaction survey.

The company stands to get a $15,000 incentive if sales exceed $625,000, plus another $5,000 incentive for a favorable outcome in the survey.

The company's maximum reward of $80,000 is less than the $120,000 maximum laid out in the previous contract. That contract included a provision for this one-year extension; the revised conditions were negotiated over the last eight months, said Parks Superintendent Ron Bastian.

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The park board approved the contract extension on a 5-0 vote. Member Nora Dooley abstained, and Mike Quinn was absent.

The choice to extend the contract, rather than putting the concessions service out for a new bid, was driven in part by past expectations that the Civic Center expansion project would be under way by now, Dooley said.

For that matter, when the contract to Powers' company first was issued three years ago, J&S of Rochester was the only company that offered a bid, Dooley said.

The new arrangement is "significantly improved for us, in that the revenues should be substantially higher," she said.

What's more, the incentives laid out in the contract will be "something to strive for," Bastian said. The $625,000 sales figure is no gimme. In fact, sales to date this year haven't reached that total yet, Bastian said.

As for the survey, it will be jointly organized by Mayo Civic Center and the vendor, with costs to be shared by the two. A variety of Civic Center users, including convention groups and Mayo Clinic, should be tapped for the survey, park board members said.

Specifics of the survey will be finalized by March or April, Bastian said.

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