Los Altos Hills is headed into the home stretch in the process of selecting a new property manager at Westwind Community Barn. The deadline for concessionaires’ proposals is 4 p.m. Thursday.
“The town is looking forward to receiving the proposals,” said Los Altos Hills community services coordinator Sarah Gualtieri of the process, which began in the spring when the city council agreed to seek new barn management.
The past few years have been rocky for the town-owned barn. In addition to financial challenges under town management, the barn lost its Year-Round Riding Program director in June. But with the prospect of a new independent manager and operator, the town anticipates renewed success for the facility.
Since releasing an official request for proposal June 26, Gualtieri said the town has received responses from a number of interested parties. During a July 15 walk-through of the Westwind facilities, eight potential bidders participated with enthusiasm and posed a host of questions, she said.
Although the town will not have a final count on prospective managers until the deadline passes, an evaluation committee is poised to review proposals and conduct interviews in August. If a suitable candidate is identified, the town could award a contract to a new concessionaire by Oct. 17.
The new operator will be responsible for overseeing all horse boarding at the barn, riding programs and the Pacific Ridge Pony Club. To allow for the continuation of town and public use of the facility, the new operator is expected to accommodate the 4-H Riding for the Handicapped program and as many as eight town-organized public events each year.
Although the Year-Round Riding Program has been on hiatus since the end of June, Gualtieri said the program will be operational by late fall, when a new concessionaire takes the reins. In the interim, the 4-H program has been in full swing and the barn continues to accept new horses for boarding.
Gualtieri added that residents should save the date for the annual Los Altos Hills Hoedown, scheduled 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 7 at Westwind Community Barn, 27210 Altamont Road. In addition to music, crafts and the Community Farmers’ Market garden-grown fruits and vegetables, guests can observe riding demonstrations and equestrian exhibits at the event.
“It’s another way to showcase the facility,” Gualtieri said, emphasizing how integral the barn is to many of Los Altos Hills’ signature traditions.
For more information, visit westwindbarn.com.