Concessioners fill a vital role in helping the National Park Service (NPS) carry out its mission. Private companies are drawn to working with the NPS in order to offer services that are not provided directly by the government to park visitors. Concessioners specialize in these operations and are thus able to provide quality services at reasonable prices. By welcoming the private sector as a partner in park operations, the National Park Service broadens the economic base of the region and communities surrounding the parks.
The Commercial Services Program ensures that visitors have access to high-quality visitor services in order to fully appreciate our natural and cultural treasures. As stated in the Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998, concession operations "are consistent to the highest practicable degree with the preservation and conservation of resources and values of the park unit."
Grand Teton National Park's Business Resources Branch administers 26 concession contracts including four full service resorts or dude ranches, 12 fishing and/or float trip operators, one trail riding, two mountain climbing services, two youth camps/backpacking, three cross country skiing and/or backcountry skiing, and one boat shuttle service across Jenny Lake. Combined, these concessioners gross over $50 million annually, and their total workforce consists of approximately 75 permanent and 1,800 seasonal employees.