Commercial Use Authorizations

  • CUAs are currently issued for two years with exceptions.
  • 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 fee. The current fee is $250.
  • 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).


Park-Specific Provisions
CUAs apply only to those federal parks, preserves, monuments, and historic sites administered by the National Park Service (NPS).

CUA Fees
The authority for the National Park Service (NPS) to impose user charges to recover and retain costs associated with managing special park uses is found in 31 U.S.C. 9701 and 16 U.S.C. 3a. Fees for CUAs are non-refundable. Monitoring fees may apply.

CUA Cost: This fee covers the costs associated with the administrative process of preparing and issuing the CUA, including National Environmental Policy Act and cultural compliance approval if applicable. This fee includes the cost of operating. The CUA fee, if applicable, should be submitted along with your application form. Make your remittance payable to Department of the Interior, National Park Service.

Monitoring Cost: This fee covers the park's costs associated with monitoring and/or performing needed functions to properly manage the incidental business park activity.

Liability Insurance
The NPS requires all permittees to carry liability insurance. The CUA must provide commercial liability insurance against claims arising out of or resulting from the acts or omissions of the CUA operator or the CUA operator's employees, agents, or contractors, in carrying out the activities and operations required and/or authorized under the CUA. The CUA Specialist must receive verification of general liability (and transportation insurance, if applicable) coverage before a CUA can be issued and the coverage must be maintained as current during the term of the authorization.

Conditions of Authorization
The conditions listed below are applicable to every CUA, additional special park conditions are placed specific to the permit's activity.

1. The holder is prohibited from knowingly giving false information. To do so will be considered a breach of conditions and be grounds for revocation: [RE: 36 CFR 2.32(a)(3)].

2. The holder shall exercise this privilege subject to the supervision of the park superintendent. The holder shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the area and terms and conditions of the authorization. The holder must acquire all permits or licenses of State or local government, as applicable, necessary to provide the services described above, and, must operate in compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, including, without limitation, all applicable park area policies, procedures and regulations. The commercial services described above are to be provided to park area visitors at reasonable rates and under operating conditions satisfactory to the park superintendent.

3. This authorization is issued upon the express condition that the United States, its agents and employees shall be free from all liabilities and claims for damages and/or suits for or by reason of any injury, injuries, or death to any person or persons or property of any kind whatsoever, whether to the person or property of the (holder), its agents or employees, or third parties, from any cause or causes whatsoever while in or upon said premises or any part thereof during the term of this authorization or occasioned by any occupancy or use of said premises or any activity carried on by the (holder) in connection herewith, and the (Holder) hereby covenants and agrees to indemnify, defend, save and hold harmless the United States, its agents, and employees from all liabilities, charges, expenses and costs on account of or by reason of any such injuries, deaths, liabilities, claims, suits or losses however occurring or damages growing out of the same.

4. Holder agrees to carry general liability insurance against claims occasioned by the action or omissions of the holder, its agents and employees in carrying out activities and operations under this authorization. The policy shall be in the amount of at least $1,000,000, and underwritten by a United States company naming the United States of America (National Park Service, Southeast Arizona Group, 4101 E. Montezuma Canyon Rd. Hereford, Az 85615) as additional insured. Holder agrees to have on file with the park copies of the above insurance with the proper endorsements.

5. Cost incurred by the park as a result of accepting and processing the application and managing and monitoring the authorization activity will be reimbursed by the holder. Administrative costs and estimated costs for activities on site must be paid when the authorization is approved. If any additional costs are incurred by the park, the holder will be billed at the conclusion of the authorization.

6. Benefit - Neither Members of, nor Delegates to Congress, or Resident Commissioners shall be admitted to any share or part of this authorization or derive, either directly or indirectly, any pecuniary benefit to arise there from: Provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to extend to any incorporated company, if the authorization be for the benefit of such corporation.

7. This authorization may not be transferred or assigned without the written consent of the park superintendent.

8. This authorization may be terminated upon breach of any of the conditions herein or at the discretion of the park superintendent.

9. The holder is not entitled to any preference to renewal of this authorization except to the extent otherwise expressly provided by law. This authorization is not exclusive and is not a concession contract.

10. The holder shall not construct any structures, fixtures or improvements in the park area. The holder shall not engage in any groundbreaking activities without the expressed, written approval of the park superintendent.

11. The holder is to provide the park superintendent upon request (and, in any event, immediately after expiration of this authorization) a statement of its gross receipts from its activities under this authorization and any other specific information related to the holder's operations that the park superintendent may request, including but not limited to, visitor use statistics and resource impact assessments.

12. The holder is to maintain an accounting system under which its accounts can be readily identified within its system of accounts classification. This accounting system must be capable of providing the information required by this authorization. The holder grants the United States of America and the General Accounting Office access to its books and records at any time for the purpose of determining compliance with the terms and conditions of this authorization.

Commercial Use Authorization Application - Printable Form

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