• Views from Penobscot Mountain summit.

    Acadia

    National Park Maine

Doing Business With The Park

 

Commercial Use Authorization

 

If you are a business operator and want to conduct business within the National Park you are required to obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) Permit (36 CFR Sec. 5.3). Failure to obtain the CUA Permit may result in the issuance of a fine and/or removal from the park.

Commercial use authorizations (CUAs) are one method of authorizing commercial visitor services.

  • CUAs are currently issued for one year.
  • There is no right or guarantee of renewal. Permittee must reapply for a new CUA for succeeding periods upon expiration of the current CUA.
  • CUAs are issued for a yearly fee. The current fee is $200.
  • CUAs are not considered concession contracts. These services need not be "necessary" but are "appropriate" services that may enhance the visitor experience, and have been determined to have minimal impact on resources and park values.
  • Commercial business activity is prohibited within the park unless a CUA has been granted by the park (36 CFR Sec. 5.3).

Note: If you are a nonprofit organization without taxable income, under the new National Park Service guidelines you are not required to obtain a Commercial Use Authorization. However, you are required to obtain a Special Use Permit.

Information and documentation:

Checklist of Items to Submit
2015 CUA Application
Insurance Requirements
2015 Annual Survey
All Parks Commercial Tour Entrance Fees

 

Completed Documents

 

Submit the completed documents to:
Acadia National Park
CUA Program Manager
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

If you need additional help or have any questions, please contact the CUA Program Manager by email or call (207) 288-8735.

Important things to know when applying for a Commercial Use Authorization Permit:

  • Fourteen (14) days are required for processing CUA applications. Please plan accordingly.
  • CUAs are issued for one calendar year; CUAs expire on December 31 of each year.
  • Administrative costs for a CUA are $200. A $100 dollar non-refundable fee is due when submitting the application packet, and the second $100 is due prior to the final permit being issued.
  • Checks are written to the "National Park Service".
  • Annual reporting requirements must be submitted by December 31 of each year. Failure to return this form by the due date is grounds for revocation or non-renewal of the CUA. To view or download a form visit: Annual Survey Report
  • A Certificate of Insurance is required.
  • Businesses and any of their employees must have in your possession a copy of Pages 1 and 2 of the CUA Permit at all times when conducting business in the park. Random monitoring of CUA Permit holders will be conducted.
  • Commercial Operators must reapply for a new CUA each year. Applications are accepted beginning January 1.
  • Note: Section 418 of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998, Public Law 105-391 (Section 418), authorizes NPS, upon request, to issue commercial use authorizations to provide commercial services to park area visitors in limited circumstances.

 

Concession Contracts

 

Concession contracts are one method of authorizing commercial visitor services. They have the following characteristics:

  • The term of concession contracts is generally 10 years or less.
  • Some concession contracts have a "preference in renewal."
  • Contracts are awarded under competition and are limited in number.
  • The concessioner pays a franchise fee to the government determined by the probable value to the concessioner for the privileges provided by the contract.

Acadia National Park currently works with four concessioners:

  • The Dawnland, LLC manages the Jordan Pond House Restaurant and three shops in the park.
  • Carriages of Acadia, Inc., operates Wildwood Stables and offers horse-drawn carriage rides.
  • National Park Tours and Oli's Trolley offer interpretive bus tours through the park.

Did You Know?