Types of Concession Contracts
Category I- Concessioner constructs capital improvements on park lands
Category II- Concessioner operates on assigned land or in a government building (but no construction of capital improvements)
Category III- Concessioner is not assigned land or buildings
A concessions operation is a way of providing commercial visitor services such as food, lodging, and retail through a third party (concessioner) within a national park. These services, provided through the use of concession contracts, must be necessary and appropriate for visitor use and enjoyment. Concession contracts are generally valid for 10 years or less but can extend for as many as 20 years. Concession contracts specify the range of facilities accommodation, and services types the concessioner agrees to offer. The rates the concessioner can charge for these services is reviewed by the National Park Service and must be comparable to those under similar conditions outside the park.
The Alaska Region manages close to 100 concession contracts for various parks and services. By welcoming the private sector as a partner in park operations, the National Park Service broadens the economic base of the region in general and the communities surrounding the parks in particular.
Submitting a Concession Contract Proposal
The opportunity to apply for contracts open for application is announced through the Federal Business Opportunities and NPS Commercial Services. The request for proposal describes the services, the terms and conditions under which they will be operated, and sets criteria for evaluating proposals submitted by private sector companies.
Annual Financial Reporting
All concession contracts require concessioners to submit an annual financial report. There are two report formats, with a standard form as well as an abbreviated version for smaller concession contracts (as measured in terms of revenue). Both versions include: statement of income, balance sheet, detail of gross receipts, operational statistics, special account annual reconciliation, and special account project expenditures. As this process has become increasingly automated, it allows for improved access to data, provides timely and accurate reporting, improves responses to external stakeholders, and enables more robust financial analysis.
The Park Service has provided the Concessioners with a wealth of other Tools and Information that provide guidance materials on a number of concessions operational issues.