Commercial Use Authorizations

Do Business With Indiana Dunes National Park

Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA)

Would you like to operate a business at Indiana Dunes National Park? Become one of our Commercial Use Authorization Service Providers. Read below to find out how.

What is a CUA?

A commercial use authorization is a business permit with the National Park Service that authorizes an individual, group, company, or other for-profit entity to conduct commercial activities. These activities provide specific visitor services within a national park area. The National Park Service will only issue CUAs for commercial activities and visitor services that:

• are determined to be an appropriate use of Indiana Dunes National Park;
• will have minimal impact on Indiana Dunes National Park's resources and values; and
• are consistent with Indiana Dunes National Park's purpose, management plans, policies, and regulations.
A CUA is required if you, as an individual, organization, or company, provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:
• take place at least in part in Indiana Dunes National Park,
• use park resources, and
• result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.

Businesses and individuals may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of an approved CUA.

CUA Services Offered

Guide Services: Guided Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Photography: Defined as one or more persons travelling on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced or sold for leisure/recreational purposes and takes place roadways or other locations in the park.(outdoor recreation education-including back packing, hiking, camping).
Classes at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Classroom: Defined as instructional classes that customer pay for to participate in, such as instruction for art, fitness, or education.
Mobile Food Service: Defined as a vendor that can travel from locations outside the park and to approved locations inside the park to provide food and/or beverages to customers. A Temporary Food Event (TFE) application is required for this CUA. Information can be found at Food Safety - Office of Public Health (U.S. National Park Service) (
Food and Beverage: Defined as a vendor who provides food and/or beverages to customers at a non-mobile location in the park. A Temporary Food Event (TFE) application is required for this CUA. Information can be found at Food Safety - Office of Public Health (U.S. National Park Service) (
Guided Non-motorized Vessels: Defined as one or more participants on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced or sold for an experience along waterways in a kayak, canoe, paddle board or other non-motorized vessel.

CUA Applications for each of the services can be found by clicking on the links above. Please note the additional documents and required information that needs to be included with your application listed on Attachment B. Fee schedule is included in Attachment B.

CUA Application Process

Processing time for CUA permits can take an average of two to four weeks.
All applications will be processed in the order in which they are received.
A CUA does not provide the vendor with exclusive rights to provide a service in the park. The CUA runs on a calendar year. Please submit all required documents, including the application fee, in one application packet. Any incomplete applications will be placed on hold until all required documents are received.

Submitting Your Application

Completed application packets can be mailed to:
Indiana Dunes National Park
Attn: Permit Office
1100 N. Mineral Springs Rd
Porter, IN 46304

Annual Report Form

The Annual Market Price Fee is based on the Annual Report, which is due January 31 each year. The Annual Report outlines the operations and income from the CUA operations for the previous year.
For additional information about CUA permits, please email us, or call the Permit Office at (219)221-2054.

Last updated: March 25, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter , IN 46304


219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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