The National Park Service works with private businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals to preserve natural and cultural resources and to create enjoyable experiences for you and millions of park visitors. Learn more about the types of business-related opportunities we offer.
What We Do With You
Are you interested in offering services to park visitors? The National Park Service works with over 5,000 businesses to provide high-quality visitor experiences, ranging from lodging to recreational tours, through concession contracts and commercial use authorizations.
- Concession contracts are longer-term contracts offering visitor services that, with a few exceptions, take place solely within the park. Learn more about current and upcoming concession opportunities.
- Commercial Use Authorizations are short-term agreements that allow a commercial operator incidental use of the park. Find out how to get a commercial use authorization.
- Are you interested in providing the National Park Service with supplies, services, or construction projects? Learn about contracting and procurement opportunities with the National Park Service.
- Are you looking for project funding and financial assistance opportunities for historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, education or community engagement projects? Learn about the National Park Service’s cooperative agreement and grant programs.
- Are you planning a wedding or a First Amendment activity in a national park? Are you interested in filming or taking professional photos in national parks? Whether you’re filming a major motion picture or hosting a special event, you will likely need a permit. Learn how to apply for a permit for special park uses and commercial filming.
Contracting and Procurement
National parks have buildings to construct, roads to pave, wastewater treatment plants to operate, and leaky roofs to repair. NPS offices purchase furniture, vehicles, office equipment and a host of other products. The National Park Service issues all bids and requests for proposals through the federal government's electronic business portals.
- Contracting opportunities in beta.Sam.gov (formerly FedBizOps).
Contracting and Procurement Office
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
National Park Concessions
Food, lodging, tours, whitewater rafting, boating, and many other recreational activities and amenities in more than 100 national parks are provided by private businesses. The services, offered by more than 480 concessioners, gross more than $1 billion every year and provide jobs for more than 25,000 people during peak season.
Commercial Services Program
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop 2225
Washington, DC 20240
Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs)
A Commercial Use Authorization allows an individual, group, company or other for-profit entity to commercially operate within a National Park Service area. CUAs are managed at the park level so application processes and fees may vary. See the commercial use authorizations page for more information.
Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Financial Assistance)
The National Park Service provides funds to non-federal entities to undertake projects with a distinct public purpose through financial assistance. We provide funding through a variety of programs, ranging from researching natural and cultural resource conservation techniques to providing educational opportunities and funding community engagement projects. Financial assistance opportunities are posted on www.grants.gov.
Special Park Uses and Commercial Filming
Often individuals, organizations, and businesses consider national parks appealing settings to hold events, express opinions, shoot commercials or major motion pictures, or photograph models for catalogs or kids for their school pictures. Couples choose national parks as beautiful wedding venues. Families gather to share meals and celebrate the generations. At times, the National Park Service requires permits for activities like these to make sure these activities do not cause unacceptable impacts to a park's natural and cultural resources or unduly interfere with park visitors' access and enjoyment.
A Special Park Use Permit (SUP) can by used by park management to authorize the use of park-managed lands and waters for a variety of activities and uses. With the exception of the sale of printed material (36 CFR 2.52), SUPs are not used to authorize commercial activities. Commercial activities require a commercial use authorization, concession contract, or lease.
Other activities that require special use permits include:
- Special events such as fun runs, large gatherings, concerts, and festivals (36 CFR 2.50)
- Commercial filming and still photography, as well as student filming projects (43 CFR part 5)
- First Amendment activities such as rallies and demonstrations (36 CFR 2.51)
- Right-of-way permits (electric transmission and distribution, telecommunications)
- Grazing and agricultural uses (36 CFR 2.60)
- Other non-visitor activities on park land
Permit applications are available through each park's website or administrative office. Use our search to find the park's website and then navigate to their permit information: Plan Your Visit > Basic Information > Permits & Reservations.
Last updated: July 27, 2021