Since 1998, the National Park Service (NPS) has issued commercial use authorizations (CUAs) to companies providing commercial visitor services within National Park areas. Commercial service providers that are not operating under a concessions contract must have a CUA to legally operate in a park. Beginning January 1, 2019 road-based commercial tour operators will be required to obtain a CUA for each park in which they operate.
By law, the NPS must collect fees for CUAs that at least cover the costs associated with the administration and management of the CUA. The NPS proposal requires road-based commercial tour operators pay an annual nonrefundable CUA application fee to each park in which they desire to conduct business. Tour operators are also required to pay a CUA management fee allowing the Service to recover day to day monitoring and management costs. All CUA fees stay within the collecting park and help fund visitor experience improvement projects, including facility maintenance and improvements (visitor centers, restrooms, etc.), parking lot and road improvements, updated wayside exhibits, etc.
Road-based commercial tour operators will continue to pay entrance fees based on the NPS commercial tour entrance fee schedule. The Service is proposing to increase commercial tour entry fees and implement peak-seasonal commercial tour entrance pricing at 17 national parks. Proposed entrance fee adjustments for commercial operators would go into effect following an 18-month implementation window.
To review proposal details and provide comments use the "Document List" or "Open For Comment" project links in the left side navigation menu. Open the documents and use the "Comment Now" button. The public comment period will run through November 23, 2017. Comments will also be accepted in writing. To submit written comments, mail comments to: National Park Service, Recreation Fee Program, 1849 C Street, NW, Mail Stop: 2346 Washington, DC 20240.
The NPS is also proposing private non-commercial seasonal entrance fee rates. Proposal information and a public comment forum is available from October 24, 2017 to December 22, 2017 on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/proposedpeakseasonfeerates
Samantha Towery 303-987-6908 (CUA Requirement and CUA Fees)
Christine Williamson 202-513-7132 (Commercial Entrance Fees)