Outdoor Industry  February 7, 2024

National park to change commercial-use authorization policies

ESTES PARK — Rocky Mountain National Park will implement changes to its commercial-use authorization program over the next two years to align park operations with National Park Service policies, the park announced Wednesday.

Commercial-use authorization is a management tool used by the Park Service to authorize appropriate business activities within a national park’s boundaries. Any business or nonprofit organization wanting to operate a business or provide a service within the park must obtain a CUA.

Kyle Patterson, Rocky Mountain National Park’s public-affairs officer, said in a prepared statement that, “Public Law 105-391, Section 418, requires the National Park Service to collect a reasonable fee for CUAs at an amount at least sufficient to recover the costs to the park in administering and managing CUAs. Changes to the fees at the park will create a more equitable fee structure based upon volume of all commercial activity conducted in the park.”

Beginning Dec. 1, the park implemented a new online CUA portal required by the Park Service. In conjunction with the online system, the park will implement a defined application window for all current and new CUA applicants to apply for the 2024 operating season. The application window is open through March 31, and all applications must be submitted online. Applications, payment and supporting documents submitted after the deadline will not be accepted, Patterson said in a news release.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2025, the park will charge a market price to recover costs associated with the administration and management of the CUA program. Fees will be based on a percentage of revenue earned from in-park or park-based operations. Market price fees will be based on the following:

  • Less than $250,000 earned from park-based operations: 3% of gross receipts (minus application fee)
  • $250,000 to $500,000 earned from park-based operations: 4% of gross receipts (minus application fee)
  • More than $500,000 earned from park-based operations: 5% of gross receipts (minus application fee)

All companies interested in applying for a CUA are encouraged to visit the park website at nps.gov/romo/getinvolved/cua.htm. Additional questions may be directed to ROMO_fees_permits@nps.gov.

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