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Turn-key restaurant opportunity at Mahoney State Park

A fully equipped, turn-key operation and additional incentives are some of the benefits offered to a new restaurant partner at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The agency is seeking proposals for a food service provider at the park conveniently located just off Interstate 80 between Lincoln and Omaha. A family-friendly bar and grill would be an excellent fit for this opportunity at the Peter Kiewit Lodge, which offers a fully equipped restaurant that overlooks the Platte River valley.

Franchises and start-up businesses are encouraged to submit a proposal.

Prior to the proposal application being posted to the State of Nebraska website, the agency is offering three question-and-answer Open House sessions at the lodge: 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Jan. 23, 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, and 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13. Park permit requirements will be waived for open house attendees. Potential restaurant partners will be able to view the restaurant.

Because park visitor experience is important to Game and Parks, the agency is offering attractive incentives for potential partners.

Game and Parks is offering:

Large kitchen – A 4,224-square-foot kitchen with all the necessary, commercial-grade equipment.

Minimal start-up costs – The agency will assist in subsidizing potential businesses during startup and during nonpeak seasons.

Low maintenance business – Game and Parks will assume the costs of a portion of maintenance on the facility/building and kitchen equipment.

Established location – Mahoney SP, centrally located between Omaha and Lincoln, is one of the busiest state parks in Nebraska. In 2022, the park had more than 750,000 visitors.

Large-capacity restaurant – The facility boasts 1,200 square feet of restaurant space, 3,950 square feet of overflow restaurant space, and 1,000 square feet of outdoor seating and patio.

Catering options – The business will have the option to cater food or alcohol and host special events as it fits their operation.

Regular events – There is high potential to establish successful annual, monthly and weekly food events.

A Request for Proposal will be posted in mid-February at das.nebraska.gov/materiel.bidopps.html. Applicants should refer to the RFP for specific details, terms and conditions.

Anyone interested in this venture who cannot attend an open house can contact Mahoney State Park Superintendent Michael Townsend at michael.townsend@nebraska.gov.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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