Doing Business With The Park
Several concessioners provide commercial services for visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Services provided by concessioners are those that have been determined to be necessary and appropriate for public use and enjoyment of the park. Services provided by concessioners in the park include horseback riding, carriage rides, hayrides, bicycle rental, campground convenience items, and backcountry food and lodging.
Click for a list of concessioners operating in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This file includes a map of concession locations in the park.
Concessioners operate under concession contracts that are awarded periodically through a competitive selection process. The opportunity to compete for award of a concession contract is published in a prospectus that is available to the public. Click to go to the National Park Service prospectus website.
Commercial Use Authorization
Public Law 105-391, Section 418, which was signed in 1998, provides for the issuance of Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA) to a private person, corporation, or other entity to provide certain commercial services for park area visitors. Commercial activities are generally prohibited in national parks unless authorized by a CUA or concession contract. Prior to 2006, an Incidental Business Permit was used to authorize the type of activities that are now authorized under a CUA.
Click on a link below for a list of businesses authorized under a CUA:
Did You Know?
Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the park. This equals a population density of approximately two bears per square mile. Bears can be found throughout the park, but are easiest to spot in open areas such as Cades Cove and Cataloochee Valley. More...