Road-based Commercial Tour Information
A road-based commercial tour is defined as one or more persons traveling by vehicle on an improved roadway on an itinerary that a company or individual has packaged and priced for leisure/recreational purposes. Road-based commercial tours generally provide no other visitor services except those incidental to road-based travel in an NPS unit (on-board interpretation and information, and incidental stops at visitor centers, restaurants, wayside exhibits, etc.).
Devils Tower National Monument does not require a CUA for road based commercial tours as defined above. Check the Commercial Tour Fee Schedule for entrance fees applicable to commercial road-based tours.
Please check the main NPS website periodically for possible updates to commercial tour requirements in the future.
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 commercial tours.
| Vehicle Insurance
(bodily and injury property damage)
|Minimum per Occurance of Liability Limits*|
|Up to 6 passengers||$1,000,000|
|26 or more passengers||$5,000,000|
*Indicated minimum per occurrence liability limit or minimum State liability requirement in State or operation, whichever is greater.
- Description of proposed services to be provided
- Proposed itinerary for planned trips, itinerary should include beginning and ending dates, routes, etc.
- Group size, including guide to client ratio.
- Lesson plan in Leave No Trace practices, including park rules and regulations, sanitation precautions/procedures, and other resource protection measures.
- Safety procedures.
- Emergency procedures including but not limited to contact points, use of cellular or satellite phones, first aid equipment and training.
- Outline of client orientation.
- A statement attesting that no taxable income will be derived from activities within the NPS boundary, and
- Proof of the organization’s Federal tax-exempt status that shows the section of the IRS code under which the organization is exempt. Note: SUPs in lieu of CUAs are still required to pay the application fee for activities
Annual Reporting RequirementsCommercial Use Authorization operators, including applicants and current CUA holders, are required to submit the following items:
- Submit your Annual Report for the previous year by January 31
- Ensure that your insurance company has provided the park with a current certificate of insurance and renewed certificates when they occur
- Provide updates on guides and required documentation as changes occur
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the fees for a CUA?
- $100 Application Fee: a non-refundable application fee is due with the application for each service category.
- Market Price Fee: guided services that gross receipts less than $250,000 for services conducted in the Monument will be charged 3% of gross receipts. This price includes the non-refundable $100 application fee due at the time the application is submitted.
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, and to fund improvements to visitor services. Fees will be reviewed every two years, to validate price structure or determine if a switch to direct operational cost recovery is needed.
Why does the NPS require CUAs?The 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.
How long does it take to obtain a CUA?A minimum of thirty (30) business 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. All required documentation must be received before the CUA will be issued.
What happens once I submit an application?
- Once we have reviewed your application packet you will be notified if further information is needed. Once we have received all required documents, we will review your application packet. All requests will receive a response. If approved, we will send you a CUA authorization form for your signature.
- You will then need to sign and return the CUA authorization form for final approval.
- You are not authorized to begin providing commercial services in the Park until your receive the CUA that has been signed by the Superintendent, or delegated official.
Who needs to acquire the road-based commercial tour CUA — the tour operator or the chartered motorcoach company?The responsibility for obtaining a road-based commercial tour CUA will fall on the company that packaged, priced, and sold the tour. A chartered motorcoach company does not need a road-based commercial tour CUA if the tour company paying for charter service determines the origin, destination, and scheduling of the trip. A charter company advertising tours to Devils Tower, however, meets the definition of road-based commercial tour and must have a road-based commercial tour CUA.
How much are the standard road-based commercial tour CUA fees?$300 Application Fee
- Road-based commercial tour operators will pay an annual $300 non-refundable CUA application fee for each submitted CUA application. 100% of collected CUA application fees stay within Devils Tower 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.
- A $5 per client CUA management fee will be deducted from per-person entrance fees paid by road-based commercial tour CUA holders.100% of collected CUA management fees stay within Devils Tower and are used to recover day-to-day road-based commercial tour management and monitoring costs and to fund visitor experience improvement projects. NPS will adjust the management fee periodically to account for increased costs including inflation.
Last updated: May 3, 2021