Food, lodging, tours, whitewater rafting, boating, and many other recreational activities and amenities in more than 100 national parks are managed by private businesses under contract to the National Park Service. The services, provided by more than 600 "concessioners," gross more than $1 billion every year and provide jobs for more than 25,000 people during peak season. Learn more about NPS Commercial Services and see what concession contracts are open for bidding.
Contracting and Procurement
National parks have buildings to construct, roads to pave, wastewater treatment plants to operate, and leaky roofs to repair. NPS offices purchase furniture, vehicles, office equipment and a host of other products. The National Park Service issues all bids and requests for proposals through the federal government's electronic business portals. Current contracting opportunities are posted on FedBizOps.
Commercial Use Authorization
Special Park Uses and Commercial Filming
Often, businesses consider national parks appealing settings to shoot commercials or major motion pictures, to photograph models for catalogs or kids for their school pictures. Couples choose national parks as beautiful wedding venues. The NPS requires permits for activities like these to make sure they do not unduly interfere with park visitors' access and enjoyment.
Other activities that require special use permits include:
- Special events
- First Amendment activities (rallies, demonstrations)
- Right-of-way permits (utilities, telecommunications, roads)
- Other non-visitor activities on park land