Financial management of the Commercial Services Program ensures both concessioners and parks benefit from their partnership in providing high-quality visitor services. National Park Service (NPS) finance managers support park superintendents and other NPS staff in understanding how management actions affect concession operations.
Contract Development Support
NPS finance managers review new contracts and set minimum franchise fees to ensure reasonable business opportunities for concessioners. They also provide financial input regarding new services considered in parks across the NPS. Financial representatives serve on selection panels to provide further analysis and recommendations on proposals from potential concessioners.
What Are Concession Franchise Fees?
Concessioners pay franchise fees to the NPS based on the value of the contract to the concessioner.
80% Franchise Fees
The park in which the concessioner operates receives 80% of the franchise fees. These fees:
Develop future commercial services opportunities.
Pay for contractually required interest or investments.
Provide additional support for projects that serve park visitors and the park's overall mission.
20% Franchise Fees
The Commercial Services Program receives 20% of the franchise fees to support park units across the National Park Service.
In addition to franchise fees, concessioners may also be required to pay special account fees or repair and maintenance reserve fees that are set aside for concessioner reinvestment in park facilities. Businesses that provide services in national parks under Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) typically pay a cost recovery fee to offset the cost of administering the CUAs and may pay a reasonable fee for the right to operate in the specific park. NPS specialists at each individual park determine CUA fees.
Annual Financial Reporting
Concessioners are required to submit an Annual Financial Report (AFR) each year to ensure they are meeting contractual financial obligations. The AFR also helps finance managers understand the concessioner's financial health and respond to financial requests from concessioners.