Commercial Use Authorizations

What is a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA)?

A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) allows an individual, group, company, or other for-profit entity to conduct commercial activities and provide specific visitor services within a national park unit. The National Park Service (NPS) issues CUAs to manage a wide-range of commercial visitor services in addition to road-based tours.

Federal law mandates the NPS issue CUAs only for commercial activities and visitor services that:
•are determined to be an appropriate use of the park,
•will have minimal impact on park resources and values, and
•are consistent with the park purpose, management plans, policies, and regulations.
The CUA requirement is in 36 CFR 5.3 – It is illegal to conduct business in a park area without a permit, contract, or other written agreement. Additionally, Public Law 105-391, Section 418, passed in 1998, provides NPS the authority to issue CUAs to allow business operations and requires NPS to collect a reasonable fee for CUA administration and management.

A CUA is required if you provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:
•take place at least in part on lands managed by Aztec Ruins NM,
•use park resources, and
•result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.
CUA holders have their base of operation outside the park. All the commercial aspects of the activity must occur outside of NPS lands. This includes marketing, advertising, use of permanent or temporary structures, and negotiation with customers. Compensation or payment for services (even tipping) may not occur on NPS lands.

What Activities are authorized in Aztec Ruins NM?

The following activities are authorized in Aztec Ruins NM under a CUA permit:
•Road-based Tours
•Guided Hiking Tours
•Photography and/or Painting Workshops
Commercial businesses wishing to do any of these activities must procure a Aztec Ruins NM CUA in advance and follow the terms and conditions of the authorization.

For what length of time is a CUA issued?

CUAs are issued for a one-year period.

How much does a CUA cost?

The application fee for a CUA is $100.00 for each service category. This fee is not refundable.

Why does the park charge a fee for a CUA?

National Park Service Policy requires the Superintendent to charge a reasonable fee for CUAs. The park retains such fees to help pay for the cost of the CUA program, including administration, evaluations, monitoring and training.

How do I apply for a CUA?

A link to application materials is available below. The document includes the application along with documents identified in Attachments B and C. Please also fill out and send in the Visitor Acknowledgement of Risk along with your CUA application.

How do I submit the application?

Once you have all of the required documentation, you can submit electronically to the

How do I submit the application fee?

The application fee may be paid by check.

•If mailing your check with the application form, please make check payable to the National Park Service.

Aztec Ruins NM
725 Ruins Road
Aztec, NM 87410

When are Annual Financial Reports due?

Annual Financial Reports, which cover the operating year and require reporting of gross receipts and visitors served for each month of that year, are due on February 28 of each year. You must return this report via email, mail or fax by the due date. Failure to return required reports or misrepresentation of statistics or earnings will result in denial of your next CUA application.

How long does it take to obtain a CUA?

A minimum of 30 days is required for issuance of a CUA. Delays will occur if application materials are not submitted accurately or completely, or if authorizations needing operator signature are not returned promptly.

CUA Office Contact Information
Nathan Hafield
(505) 334-6174 x228

Last updated: March 4, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

725 Ruins Road
Aztec, NM 87410


505 334-6174 x0

Contact Us