Doing Business With The Park

Building with visitors on the porch
Historic Photo of the Northwest Trading Post

NPS / C. E. Westveer

Work With Us

Business Opportunities

Private businesses play an important role in helping the National Park Service carry out its mission by offering services to park visitors that are not provided directly by the government. By welcoming the private sector as a partner in providing services, we can ensure visitors have access to services they want and need and broaden the economic base of surrounding communities.

The National Park Service has developed two types of contracts based on the scale of the commercial activity:

  • Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) permit commercial activities for up to two years that are appropriate, low-impact, and consistent with the purpose for which the Blue Ridge Parkway was established. CUAs are required of all operators who provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for park visitors. Many businesses operate on the parkway under CUAs to provide services like guided hiking tours, guided climbing tours, trailhead transportation, and campground firewood sales. Learn how to apply for a CUA.
  • Concessions Contracts are longer-term contracts offering visitor services that usually take place solely within the park. Parkway concessioners include lodges, restaurants, craft shops, and boat rentals. Learn more about concession opportunities with the National Park Service.

Special Use Permits

A special park use is a short-term activity that takes place in a park area and typically provides a benefit to an individual, group, organization, or a First Amendment cause, rather than the public at large. The National Park Service may permit a special park use providing the activity will not cause derogation of the park's resources or values, visitor experiences, or the purpose for which the park was established. The parkway issues Special Use Permits for activities like weddings, group bike tours, filming, car cruises, and public assemblies. Learn more about Special Use Permits.


Three Historic Concession facilities RFEI
(NOTE: each facility can be considered individually, submissions do not require a concept for all three facilities)

On February 6, 2024, the National Park Service announced a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) seeking responses from individuals, educational institutions, government agencies or entities, and non-profit or for-profit organizations, interested in the preservation and re-use of one or more historic facilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The facilities in this RFEI are all former concession operations, and include:

Milepost Facility Square Footage Description Near
60.8 Otter Creek Restaurant and Gift Shop 3,190 57-seat restaurant and gift shop James River/Lynchburg, VA
165 Rocky Knob Cabins 4,678 7 rustic cabins, managers house, and shower house Floyd and Meadows of Dan, VA
241.1 Bluffs Lodge (Units A & B) 7,953 24 rooms for guests, plus additional room in basement Sparta, NC

Virtual Q&A sessions will be held on the following dates to allow interested parties to ask questions of park staff about any one of the properties included in this RFEI.

  • Session One – focused on Otter Creek, February 27, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. ET

  • Session Two – focused on Rocky Knob Cabins, February 28, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. ET

  • Session Three – focused on Bluffs Lodge, February 29, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. ET

To receive a link to join one or more meeting, email Rachel Stasny at e-mail us. In-person site visits will be scheduled at each facility by late March.The National Park Service will evaluate responses to the RFEI to inform the next stage in planning for these business opportunities. Responses to the RFEI are due by April 30, 2024. A full review of the process and submission guidelines are linked HERE.

Last updated: February 23, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

199 Hemphill Knob Rd
Asheville, NC 28803


828 348-3400

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