Are you interested in partnering with the National Park Service to offer necessary and appropriate commercial services to our park visitors? The National Park Service welcomes the private sector to assist us with this endeavor provided that those engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas are doing so in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement. The National Park Service authorizes commercial services through two distinct mechanisms: long-term Concession Contracts and short-term Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA).
Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) Basics
What is a CUA?
A CUA is a business permit with the National Park Service that authorizes an individual, group, company, or other for-profit entity to conduct commercial activities and provide specific visitor services within a national park area. The National Park Service will only issue CUAs for commercial activities and visitor services that:
Businesses and individuals may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA. Commercial Use Authorization Services are reviewed annually and subject to change year to year.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park currently has five concession operations which provide a variety of visitor services in the park. These services include guided horseback riding, carriage rides, bicycle rentals, lodging, campground convenience items, food, and retail sales. No other businesses are allowed to provide the services which are conducted through our concession operations. Concessioners operate under concession contracts that are awarded periodically through a competitive selection process. The opportunity to compete for award of a concession contract is published in a prospectus that is available to the public.
Last updated: February 1, 2024