Commercial Use Authorizations

2017 authorized NPS business partners (CUAs)

A business or an individual must obtain either a Concession Contract or a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) prior to conducting any commercial activity in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The National Park Service (NPS) requires permits for business activities in NPS areas to protect the park visitor, the business operator, and the federal government from liability, and to ensure that commercial activities in the parks are appropriate. Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 5.3 prohibits business activity in National Park Service areas without a permit.

The NPS manages both commercial and non-commercial activities within its units in order to protect the resources, prevent conflicts with visitors and to provide services and activities that enhance the park's mission. CUA's are issued only to those commercial activities that support or complement the park's mission and goals.

Sample Visitor's Acknowledgement of Risks

A Commercial Use Authorization form is used to consider whether the National Park Service should issue an organization a CUA to conduct business within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In addition, a nonrefundable application fee of $50.00 is required to recover our costs to review and consider the application.

Once received, the park evaluates each application and determines if the proposed business service supports or complements the Lakeshore's mission and goals. If it does, we will request further information from the organization including proof of liability insurance coverage in the amount of one million dollars. The insurance certificate must show the U.S. Government at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as an additional insured. An additional fee of $200.00 will be required if a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is issued.

A CUA does not allow a permittee exclusive rights to use an area or facility. The commercial activity must not interfere with the use of the park by other visitors.

Once issued, the employees of an organization who enter the National Lakeshore to conduct business under a CUA are exempt from the Lakeshore entrance fee. However, clients are required to pay the entrance fee, if applicable. For a current list of fees, visit Fees & Reservations. Employees of these organizations should carry a copy of their CUA when entering the park.

If interested, arrangements can be made for your business to sell Park Entrance Passes as a service to your customers. Please indicate on the application form if you desire to offer this service. If you have any questions about the Park Entrance Pass Program, please contact Fee Manager Paul Purifoy at 231-326-4730.

Thank you for your interest in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We look forward to working with you to provide high quality experiences for our park visitors and your customers. If you have any questions, please contact the Chief Ranger at (231) 326-4740.

Last updated: June 16, 2017

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