Doing Business With The Park

 

Commercial Use Authorization

If you are a business operator and want to conduct business within Acadia National Park you are required to obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) (36 CFR Sec. 5.3). Failure to obtain the CUA shall result in the issuance of a federal citation or a mandatory federal court appearance.

A commercial use is defined as any activities, services, agreements, or anything offered to park visitors and/or the general public for recreational purposes which uses park resources or is undertaken for or results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit to an individual, organization, or corporation, whether or not such entity is organized for purposes recognized as non-profit under local, state, or federal law. Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) are issued for one year. There is no right or guarantee of renewal.

You are required to obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) (36 CFR Sec. 5.3.) if any of the following apply:

Commercial transportation/tour operators and those who own, lease, charter their vehicles to other tour operators, or rent their vehicles from such places as a rental company for commercial tour purposes.
Person(s), organization, or group that arranges for the transportation and tour services, assumes responsibility for financial risk and management, and determines who shall be transported upon what terms, conditions, or charges.
Provide guided trips or services for biking, boating, hiking, climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, summer camps, tours, or other approved activities for the public.
Provide transportation services such as bus, limousine, ride-hailing service, taxi or van.
Photography or painting workshops; photography or painting tours.
Any other service a commercial entity wishes to perform in the park (this requires prior park approval).






 

Information and documentation:

CUA Application, Acadia 2019
Annual Survey Report Form 10-660
Bus & Motor Coach Rules

Fees are Required to Enter the Park:

Entrance fees are determined by the type of service provided:

  1. Business operators receiving a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) for activities such as biking, photography, yoga, hiking, summer camps, rock climbing, kayaking, or other activities are required to pay the per person rate of $15.00 for each client, regardless of the size of the vehicle. Clients may use their annual or federal recreational lands passes according to the parameters of the pass. Only clients 16 years old and over are required to pay this fee. The vehicle and driver/guide have free entry into the park, but may not use their own passes to cover the clients’ fee.
  2. Business operators receiving a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) for road-based tours and transportation are required to pay the Commercial Tour Fee Schedule rate which is based on the capacity of the vehicle:
Sedan 1-6 Capacity $25
Van 7-12 Capacity $50
Mini Bus 16-25 Capacity $60
Bus/Motorcoach 25+ Capacity $150
 

UPDATE:

CUA Process Standardized for Operators of Road-Based Commercial Tours


The National Park Service (NPS) is standardizing road-based commercial tour commercial use authorization (CUA) requirements and fees agency-wide. Currently, road-based commercial tour operators must navigate permitting processes and associated fees that can vary from park to park.

Beginning October 1, 2019, road-based commercial tour transportation providers and tour operators in Acadia National Park will be subject to a new fee schedule which includes:

1) CUA Application Fee -The CUA Application Fee is required for all entities applying for a Commercial Use Authorization including transportation providers. The annual application fee will be $300 and is non-refundable.

  • One hundred percent of collected CUA application fees stay within the collecting park and are used to recover the administrative costs of receiving, reviewing, and processing CUA applications and required reports.
  • The NPS will adjust this application fee periodically to account for increased costs including inflation.

2) A Per Person Entrance Fee-The Entrance Fee for Road-Based Tours will be a Per-Person Fee of $15.00, Park Specific or Interagency Passes will not apply.

  • The Entrance Fee will be paid upon arrival to Acadia National Park. At the time of entrance, a tour operator will be required to provide the fee collector with the total number of passengers on-board. A pink hang-tag indicating the total number of passengers will be provided for display at all times while in the park. Law Enforcement will be performing random spot checks throughout the park.

3) CUA Management Fee-The CUA Management Fee will be $5.00 that will be subtracted from the $15.00 per person fee and used to recover costs associated with road-based commercial tour management and monitoring.

Learn more about the National Park Service CUA Program

 

Submitting CUA Documents

Submit completed documents to:

Acadia National Park
CUA Program Coordinator
PO Box 177
20 McFarland Hill Drive
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

If you need additional help or have any questions, please contact Mea Arego, Concessions Management Specialist by email or call (207) 288-8735.

Important things to know:

  • Twenty-one (21) days of advance notice are required for processing CUA applications. Please plan accordingly.

  • CUAs are issued for one calendar year; CUAs expire on December 31 of each year.

  • Checks are written to the "National Park Service" and mailed to CUA Program Coordinator at address above.

  • Annual reporting requirements must be submitted by Dec 31 of each year. Failure to return this form by the due date will result in non-renewal of the CUA. To view or download a form visit: Annual Survey Report

  • A Certificate of Insurance is required. See Insurance Requirements information in the CUA application packet.

  • Businesses and any of their representatives must have in their possession a complete copy of the CUA at all times when conducting business in the park. Random monitoring of CUA holders will be conducted.

  • Businesses must reapply for a new CUA each year. Applications must be submitted on or before Apr 1st.

 

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 these concessioners:

If you need additional help or have any questions, please contact Mea Arego, Concessions Management Specialist by email or call (207) 288-8735.

 

Requests for Proposals

Acadia National Park welcomes Requests for Proposals from any organization or business wishing to add Park Ranger-conducted nature programs about Acadia National Park to talks, walks, hikes, youth programs, bicycle tours, bus tours, or boat programs serving Mount Desert Island and Schoodic. A standard fee for park ranger-narrated activities will apply. Accepted proposals will be valid for up to five years and ranger-led services will be marketed to park visitors in park facilities, program publications, and on the park website. To learn more, please email park staff.

Last updated: February 15, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Phone:

(207) 288-3338

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