Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
It just may be the unique opportunity that someone who is hoping to run a business in Queens is looking for.
The Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) is seeking a seasonal operator for Fort Point Lighthouse in Liverpool for the next three years.
The municipality has issued a Request for Proposals from interested parties to operate the lighthouse and be a travel ambassador for the area.
"I believe it's a great opportunity. It's a very well-traveled area for locals and visitors alike," commented RQM Mayor Darlene Norman.
Built in 1855, Fort Point Lighthouse stands at the mouth of the Mersey River and is one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in Nova Scotia. Surrounded by picturesque parkland, it provides visitors a rare opportunity to climb inside, enjoy ocean views and sound the foghorn.
The lighthouse has housed a gift shop, Taste of Nova Scotia items and offerings of coffee, freshly baked sweets and ice cream.
Staff from Lane's Privateer Inn operated the lighthouse for the past four years, and their lease now has expired. Prior to 2016, the lighthouse was operated by RQM.
Visitor numbers from 2017 to 2019 averaged about 5,850 per year, based on a June to mid-October season. Last year, because of the pandemic, visitor numbers were lower significantly, with about 1,350 visitors signing in.
The lighthouse is expected to be in operation seven days a week, from June to Thanksgiving. Staff there need to be knowledgeable in the history of the lighthouse and the area. The operator also will be expected to promote the Fort Point Lighthouse and area to encourage visitation.
RQM will look after the maintenance of the building and grounds, take care of the utility costs and provide the insurance for the building. It's not looking to recover any costs from the operator.
Those wishing to apply must fill out a detailed proposal that includes a comprehensive business strategy, marketing and advertising initiatives, value-added offerings for visitors and plans to collaborate with other local attractions and businesses.
The Request for Proposals can be found at www.regionofqueens.com. The deadline for submissions is February 25 at 4 p.m.