Ships in Portland, Maine

CruiseMaineUSA could be undergoing a significant overhaul in the near future.

The State of Maine’s tourism office issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in late June for an individual or group to run the organization on a one-year contract, with options extending the deal for up to five years.

Steve Lyons, acting director of Maine Tourism, is coordinating the process. He is also go-to person for CruiseMaine until a winner is named.

Bids were accepted from June 29 to July 20 for the contract that includes cruise marketing and coordinating outreach to develop and promote cruise activities for the state of Maine.

“The State of Maine requires us to issue competitive bids for contracts in excess of $5,000 per year.  We issued a RFP at the end of June and we are in the process of reviewing submissions.  We anticipate making an award announcement within the next week or so,” Lyons said, in an email to Cruise Industry News.

According to the RFP, which did not specify a budget, the winning bidder will be the one that scores the highest on a 100-point scale as determined by an evaluation team.

The criteria will be split across organization qualifications and experience (25 points), proposed services (45 points) and cost (30 points). The RFP noted that the lowest cost bid will receive 25 points. Proposals with higher bid values will be awarded proportionately fewer points calculated in comparison with the lowest bid.

In a managed, written question-and-answer period during the RFP process, the office of tourism noted that the current contract had ended on June 30, and it did not know if the previous vendor would submit a proposal.

Long-time CruiseMaine director Amy Powers has meanwhile set up her own consulting firm, MaineCruisePro, and has also been linked to a role with the Cruise Lines International Association, according to a report in the Mount Desert Islander.