Commercial Visitor Services
Commercial visitor services provide accommodations, facilities and services that the NPS has determined to be necessary and/or appropriate for public use and enjoyment of a National Park Service administered area and provided to visitors for a fee or charge by person. The fee or charge paid by the visitor may be direct or indirect as part of the provision of comprehensive visitor services.
Through the use of Concessions Contracts or Commercial Use Authorizations, the National Park Service ensures that commercial services are consistent to the highest practicable degree with the preservation and conservation of resources and values of the park unit and demonstrate sound environmental management and stewardship.
There are many distinctions between these two types of authorizations, but generally the NPS issues concession contracts when the proposed activity is necessary and appropriate and there is a need to limit the number of operators or construct facilities in park areas and a competitive system is employed to solicit proposals from private businesses. A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is permit that authorizes suitable commercial services to park area visitors in limited circumstances. It is intended to be a simple method of authorizing appropriate visitor services.
Engaging in or soliciting any business in a national park requires a permit, contract or other written agreement from the National Park Service.
For more information about Commercial Visitor Services in the National Park Service, click here.