Changes to Commercial Use Authorizations coming at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site

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Date: March 7, 2018
Contact: Katie Lawhon, 717-338-4402

Gettysburg National Military Park (GETT) and Eisenhower National Historic Site (EISE) are implementing changes to their Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) program. Effective immediately, all newly issued CUA permits at GETT and EISE will be valid for one year only. The park will no longer issue two year CUA permits. Fees will be increased for CUA permit applications and the park will be implementing a new market price fee based on revenues earned from in-park or park-based operations.

CUA permit holders are required to report revenue information to the park annually. Application fees paid by CUA holders are credited back to the permit holder when they pay the market price fee at the end of the operating season.

The park is providing advance notice to companies operating under an existing CUA and others who have an interest in applying for CUA permits. These fee changes only apply to new permits and renewals issued on or after January 1, 2019. 

What is a CUA Permit? The National Park Service issues CUA permits to allow an individual, group, company or other for-profit entity to commercially operate within a park. Federal law mandates the National Park Service 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.

Types of activities currently authorized under CUAs at GETT and EISE: Bus tours with Licensed Battlefield Guides or taped narrations; leadership tours; escorted horseback riding; horse-drawn carriage rides; scooter and “Segway” rentals; naturalist-led birding tours; plein-air drawing and painting classes.

Why make the changes? Public Law 105-391, Section 418, requires the National Park Service (NPS) to collect a reasonable fee for CUAs at an amount at least sufficient to recover the costs to the NPS in administering and managing CUAs. These CUA fee changes at GETT and EISE will create a more equitable fee structure based upon volume of commercial activity conducted in the park. More information is available here.

Fee increases: CUA permit application fees at GETT or EISE will increase from $50 to $300 beginning January 1, 2019. The CUA permit application fee is a nonrefundable fee. This is the first increase in CUA fees in the park in more than ten years.

In addition, beginning January 1, 2019, GETT and EISE will charge a market price in order to recover all costs associated with the administration and management of the CUA program. Fees for CUA permits or any renewals issued after January 1, 2019, will be based on a percentage of revenue earned from in-park or park-based operations. New market price fees will be based on the following:

• Less than $250,000 earned from park-based operations - 3% of gross receipts (minus application fee)

• $250,000 to $500,000 earned from park-based operations - 4% of gross receipts (minus application fee)

• More than $500,000 earned from park-based operations - 5% of gross receipts (minus application fee)

Implementation: Completed applications must be submitted to the park one month prior to the permit expiration date in order to obtain a finalized CUA permit in a timely manner. Applicants making more than $100,000 from park-based operations should submit the application two months prior to the end of the current permit in order to provide time for adequate review by the park and the NPS Northeast Regional office. All applications will be reviewed in the order in which they were they were received.

For questions please contact the Gettysburg National Military Park Permit Coordinator at 717-334-0909.

Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and their commemorations.

Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves and interprets the home and farms of the Eisenhower family as a fitting and enduring memorial to the life, work, and times of General Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, and to the events of far-reaching importance that occurred on the property. 

Last updated: March 8, 2018

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Gettysburg, PA 17325


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