25 July 2017-The NPS recently received warning information from NASA regarding the sale of solar eclipse viewing glasses.
18 July 2017-The NPS has issued a request for proposals to lease the historic Maurice Bathhouse in Hot Springs National Park
12 July 2017-Be Aware in the Workplace: OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations in 2016
28 June 2017-Pre-Solicitation of a business opportunity to operate lodging, food and beverage, retail, campground, guided horseback rides, and other visitor services at Lassen Volcanic National Park
28 June 2017-Solicitation for the award of a Concession Contract to Provide Food and Beverage, Retail, and Kennel Services within Carlsbad Caverns National Park
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"Scenery is a hollow enjoyment to the tourist who sets out in the morning after an
indigestible breakfast and a fitful night's sleep on an impossible bed."
Stephen T. Mather, first Director of the National Park Service
As evidenced by the quote above, Director Mather believed that only a well-rested and well-fed visitor would be fully capable of appreciating the wonders of our national parks. Private companies have promoted the parks and served visitors since Yellowstone National Park was designated in 1872. The present-day Commercial Services Program is mindful of this legacy, ensuring that visitors have access to high-quality visitor services in order to fully appreciate our natural and cultural treasures.
Concessioners fill a vital role in helping the National Park Service (NPS) carry out its mission. Private companies are drawn to working with NPS in order to offer services to park visitors, which are not provided directly by the government. Concessioners specialize in these operations and are thus able to provide quality services at reasonable prices. By welcoming the private sector as a partner in park operations, the National Park Service broadens the economic base of the region and communities surrounding the parks.
In concert with other NPS divisions, the Commercial Services Program administers more than 500 concession contracts that, in total, gross over $1 billion annually. NPS concessioners employ more than 25,000 people in a variety of fields during peak seasons, providing services ranging from food service and lodging, to whitewater rafting adventures and motor coach tours. As stated in the Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998, concession operations "are consistent to the highest practicable degree with the preservation and conservation of resources and values of the park unit."
If you'd like to know about all the concession operations in our national parks, please click here for a list of National Park Service-authorized concessioners. Advice on Concessions management in the National Park System is provided by the Concessions Management Advisory Board. Click here to learn more about the Board and view presentations of past meetings.