Follow this link to access the NPS Commercial Services news RSS feed.
  • 13 February 2018
    Solicitation for proposals for the award of a lease(s) of up to eight (8) historic houses and their associated buildings within the Natchez Trace Parkway.
  • 12 February 2018
    Solicitation for the award of Concession Contracts for Guided Multi-Day Interpretive Whitewater River Trips in Grand Canyon National Park
  • 30 January 2018
    Solicitation for proposals for a new Concession Contract to provide Alcatraz passenger ferry service and associated services within Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
  • 29 January 2018
    Solicitation for the award of a Concession Contract for Marina Operations at James Creek Marina within National Capital Park-East
  • 18 January 2018
    Notice of a Site Visit in advance of the Solicitation for proposals for a new Concession Contract

News archives

"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."

You can view a list of all the concession operations in our national parks. Advice on Concessions management in the National Park System is provided by the Concessions Management Advisory Board.