Are You Using the Concessioner Mark Correctly?

official NPS arrowhead with red circle and line through it

approved authorized concessioner mark

The Authorized Concessioner Mark (mark) is a graphical symbol that incorporates the National Park Service (NPS) Arrowhead, the official and trademarked symbol of the NPS, and an associated “Authorized Concessioner” descriptor into its design to demonstrate the business relationship between the NPS and its concessioners.

Concessioners may use the mark in promotional and informational applications to assure visitors that facilities and services bearing the mark are authorized by the NPS to operate. Concessioners must ensure they are using the mark and not the official NPS Arrowhead. Improper use of the Arrowhead is trademark infringement and creates confusion for visitors about which services are concessioner-operated and those that are run by the NPS.

ALL USES OF THE MARK MUST BE APPROVED BY THE NPS BEFORE USE. Concessioners interested in using the mark should submit a written request to their individual park concessions office that includes proposed applications and sample layouts. Concessioners must wait for approval before using the mark. Once approval has been granted, concessioners will receive the necessary graphic files from the park and can proceed to use the mark for advertising and promotional activities as mentioned above.

New concessioners at the start of their contract and existing concessioners who have received a “marginal” or higher annual overall rating (AOR) for the previous year of operation are permitted to use the mark. Those who are operating under a commercial use authorization, received an “unsatisfactory” AOR for the previous year of operation, or have a terminated or expired contract cannot use the mark. If a concessioner decides to utilize the mark for promotional and informational purposes, they can use the mark on their brochures, interpretive materials, and signs used for authorized services approved by the NPS (e.g., storefronts and tour vehicles). Additionally, the mark may be used in written advertising and audiovisual media such as television and internet-based information (e.g., Facebook®).

However, it is important to note that there are many instances where it is not permissible to display the mark. The mark cannot be used on:

  • merchandise, souvenirs, or other products sold in retail outlets
  • concessioner uniforms or clothing
  • concessioner equipment not providing visitor services (e.g., maintenance vehicles, employee shuttles)
  • advertisements for non-authorized services that operate outside of the park

Additionally, concessioners cannot change the color, wording arrangement, or layout of the mark. The mark must be of adequate size to be readable but not sized so large as to be the dominant feature of a concessioner’s signage or media application. Specifically, the mark must not occupy greater than 2% of the total space of the specific media view or publication and should not be larger than the size of the concessioner’s own logo. For large artwork applications, used for full page print media, signs, and banners, the minimum size must be no less than 1.5 inches in height. For small artwork applications used for partial page print media, audiovisual and web-based media, the minimum size shall be between 0.5 and 1.5 inches in height. In no instance should the mark be less than 0.5 inches in height.

When using the mark it must be maintained in a professional manner. Physical signs displaying the mark must be replaced when the mark becomes worn, faded, ripped, or torn. If a concessioner intends to use the mark on their website, it is required that the site be dedicated to the services authorized by the NPS rather than a general webpage. Concessioners who provide both in-park and out-of-park services must lay out their website so that the mark is clearly associated only with the authorized concession services and include language immediately below the mark that identifies the specific, authorized in-park services.