Commercial Use Authorizations

Commercial Activities in Big Bend
A wide variety of commercial activities occur in Big Bend National Park.


Big Bend Commercial Use Authorization Permits (CUAs)


What Is A Commercial Use Authorization?

Approximately 50 companies provide a wide variety of commercial services in Big Bend National Park and Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River. These services are limited to those companies having specific authorization, usually in the form of a Concessions Contract or Commercial Use Authorization (CUA).

Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA), are a permit issued by the park Superintendent to allow certain commercial activities within the park. Permits are required of all operators who provide any goods, activities, agreements or other services to the general public that:

  • take place, at least in part, on lands managed by the National Park Service,
  • use park resources, and
  • result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit or profit to an individual, organization or corporation.

Federal regulations prohibit engaging in or soliciting any business in the park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a written agreement with the United States. Commercial aspects, such as advertising, negotiation of compensation, and receipt of money/compensation must occur outside of the park. Year-round permits coincide with the fiscal year, starting October 1 and ending September 30 of the following year. Permits may also be issued for one-time use.

Park Entrance Fees

A CUA does NOT exempt the holder or clients from NPS entrance fee requirements, nor does it grant automatic access to areas controlled by reservation systems.


Big Bend Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA)


How To Apply For A CUA

2024 Application Information

Apply Now website
Pay your CUA fees here

Permit Fees

Application Fee is $350 annually. Permits will not be renewed from previous years; every commercial operator will need to submit an application for a permit for each fiscal year they operate.

Please email the park at to obtain a CUA # before submitting payment through - Big Bend NP Commercial Use Authorization Fees

  • Cost-Recovery Fee
    A cost-recovery fee, to recover costs associated with the administration and management of the CUA program. Fees will be based on a percentage of revenue earned from in-park or park-based operations.

    For more information on market based fees, please see



Contact Us

If you have any questions concerning the Commercial Use Authorization program at Big Bend, please contact:

Kelly VandenBerg
CUA Coordinator
(432) 213-3309

Last updated: June 27, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Big Bend National Park, TX 79834-0129



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