Commercial Visitor Services
This page is primarily for people interested in, or currently providing commercial visitor services in the Alaska national parks. If you are interested in visiting the parks, please see the individual park websites.
Commercial Visitor Services in Alaska National Parks
Approximately 400-425 companies annually provide a wide variety of commercial visitor services for visitors to Alaska’s 16 national park areas. The number of companies and volume of business activity varies by year but the trend is towards a modest increase, as tourism in Alaska expands. The NPS authorizes commercial visitor services under concession contracts and commercial use authorizations. There are many distinctions between these two types of authorizations, but generally the NPS issues concession contracts when there is a need to limit the number of operators or construct facilities in park areas and a competitive system is employed to solicit proposals from private businesses. Commercial use authorizations are generally used when a service is appropriate for the park area, but there is no need to limit the number of service providers or construct facilities in park areas and therefore no need to employ a competitive system to award the authorization. Of the 400-425 companies mentioned above, approximately 105 are authorized under concession contracts and the remainder authorized under commercial use authorizations.
Generally, engaging in or soliciting any business in a national park requires a contract or other written authorization from the National Park Service (NPS).
The NPS may also grant leases for the use of federally owned or administered buildings and associated property within park areas. Generally, the NPS leases only buildings and associated property that are not needed for use by the NPS. Currently, the only leased buildings and associated property in Alaska national parks are located in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway.
Commerical Use Authorization
A commercial use authorization is a permit that authorizes suitable commercial services to park area visitors in limited circumstances.
Special Use Permits- Non-Profit Organizations
Organizations determined by the IRS to be exempt from Federal taxation.
The National Park Service solicits proposals for concession contracts through a competitive selection process.
Directory of Commercial Visitor Services
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system..