Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What concessions are currently available at Utah State Parks?

How Does Utah State Parks Identify Concession Opportunities?

How Do I Become a State Parks Concessionaire?

What Types of Concession Agreements are Available?

What is the Request for Proposal (RFP) Process?

How Many RFPs Does State Parks Normally Issue Each Year?

How Does State Parks Determine Concession Fees?

How Does State Parks Advertise its Concession Opportunities?

Are there any Liability Insurance Requirements to Work with Utah State Parks?


What concessions are currently available at Utah State Parks?

Specific concession information can be found under the webpage for each state park, and a list of current concession contracts can be found here. These concession services are currently available in our state parks:

Archaeological Tours
Danger Cave

ATV and UTV Rentals
East Canyon
Sand Hollow
Wasatch Mountain
Yuba

ATV Tours
Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Sand Hollow
Wasatch Mountain

Bicycle/E-Bike/Mountain Bike Rentals
Antelope Island
Bear Lake
Dead Horse Point

Boat and Jet Ski Rentals
Bear Lake
Deer Creek
Fred Hayes at Starvation
Jordanelle
Quail Creek
Rockport
Sand Hollow
Willard Bay

Canyoneering
Goblin Valley
Snow Canyon

Food/Restaurant
Anasazi
Antelope Island
Bear Lake
Deer Creek
East Canyon
Jordanelle
Palisade
Rockport
Sand Hollow
Soldier Hollow Golf
Wasatch Mountain Golf

Horseback Rides
Antelope Island
Kodachrome Basin

Inflatable Water Park/Water Playground
Bear Lake
Deer Creek
East Canyon
Jordanelle
Quail Creek
Willard Bay

Paddleboard/Kayak Rentals
Bear Lake
Deer Creek
East Canyon
Echo
Escalante
Fred Hayes at Starvation
Great Salt Lake
Gunlock
Jordanelle
Palisade
Quail Creek
Red Fleet
Rockport
Sand Hollow
Willard Bay
Yuba


Sailing Lessons
Utah Lake

Scuba Diving Rentals
Sand Hollow

Snowmobile Rentals
Monte Cristo
Wasatch Mountain

Zip Line
Deer Creek
Yuba


How Does Utah State Parks Identify Concession Opportunities?

The Concessions Program performs an annual planning process to help park managers identify new concession opportunities that make sense for their parks. Ideas come from existing concessions, potential concessionaires, other parks, other state park systems, and other sources. The Concessions Program keeps a running list of potential ideas that are used for each planning season. The planning process goes in a 16-month cycle beginning in January every year and ending in May of the following year when all new contracts would likely be in effect.

Here is a quick overview of how concession service ideas go from the planning process to a possible concession contract:

  1. Jan-Feb: The Concessions Program works with park managers and region managers to identify potential concessions services for the following year. The actual number of RFPs issued will depend on a number of factors but will be made up of these new opportunities plus expiring contracts over the next year period.
  2. Mar-May: The Concessions Program analyzes the requested services and identifies the most effective ways to provide those services within the parks, whether through issuing RFPs for concession contracts, issuing special use permits for short-term services, or providing the services with State Parks staff.
  3. Jun-Nov: The Concessions Program coordinates with the park managers and the State’s Division of Purchasing to issue RFPs for new contracts.
  4. Aug-Dec: State Parks enters into new contracts with awarded businesses as each RFP process is completed with most services set to begin in Apr/May of the following year.
  5. Jan-May: The Concessions Program assists park managers with any additional preparations as the new summer season begins and begins a new planning process for the next year.

How Do I Become a State Parks Concessionaire?

There are a number of ways you can work with Utah State Parks! Longer-term concession contracts are generally awarded through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process, but we also have many opportunities for short-term operations through our special use permit process

When Utah State Parks does issue an RFP for a new concession contract, we work through the State’s Division of Purchasing (most commonly called “State Purchasing”) to issue the RFP and coordinate the overall process. State Purchasing publicly posts all RFPs on the Utah Public Procurement Place.


What Types of Concession Agreements are Available?

The Division of State Parks uses two main agreement/contract types for concession services: a special use permit and a concession contract.

Special Use Permits

Special use permits are most often used for services that do not require an ongoing physical presence in the park – such as guided hikes or canyoneering where the guides do not have a storefront within the park. Special use permits are issued by individual park managers and are most commonly issued for one year or less but can also be issued for up to three years. A park manager can choose to issue a special use permit to a concessionaire that will have a storefront or physical presence in the park for up to one year if it is a new concession service and if the manager is unsure how successful the service may be. The park manager can issue the permit for one year to evaluate the service and then decide if a longer-term agreement (concession contract) makes the most sense going forward.

More information regarding special use permits can be found on our website

Concession Contract

A concession contract is used for services intended for a longer period of time or that require a storefront or other physical presence within a park. Concession contracts are agreements of five years or more that must go through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process. The length of the contract will depend on such factors as the size of the operation, rental equipment requirements, estimated investment of the concessionaire, and the estimated amount of time for the concessionaire to receive a reasonable return on its investment.


What is the Request for Proposal (RFP) Process?

The Request for Proposal (RFP) process has a number of stages and can be daunting for those unfamiliar with this type of process. The Utah State Parks Concessions Program tries to make the process as simple and understandable as possible, so please do reach out if you have any suggestions. 

Here is a quick overview of the RFP process:

  1. The Concessions Program sends the information for the RFP to State Purchasing, and State Purchasing assigns a purchasing agent that will direct the RFP throughout the entire process.
  2. State Purchasing publicly posts the RFP on the Utah Public Procurement Place. Concession RFPs are normally open anywhere from three to eight weeks.
  3. The Concessions Program and Park Manager will normally hold a mandatory site visit at the park to provide information to interested concessionaires (called “offerors” for RFP purposes) and answer any questions.
  4. RFP responses are normally evaluated in three different stages. Once the open RFP period ends, the assigned State Purchasing agent will perform an initial review (Stage 1) of the proposals to make sure they were submitted by the due date and meet the mandatory minimum requirements identified in the RFP. Those that do not meet requirements here are eliminated from further consideration, and those offerors are notified by the purchasing agent.
  5. Proposals that pass Stage 1 move to the technical evaluation (Stage 2) to be evaluated by an evaluation committee appointed by State Parks. These committees normally include the Park Manager, Concessions Program Manager, and 1-3 other State Parks staff. Proposals are evaluated against the evaluation criteria identified in the RFP. To proceed to the next evaluation stage, proposals must achieve a minimum technical score threshold identified in the RFP.
  6. Those proposals that achieve the minimum score threshold from Stage 2 then proceed to the concession fee proposal evaluation (Stage 3 or Final Stage). During this stage, the proposed concession fee payments that will be made to State Parks during the contract term are evaluated by applying a formula that assigns points relative to the other fee proposals submitted by other offerors.
  7. The total points from Stage 2 and Stage 3 are combined and the evaluation committee will normally make an award recommendation. Once the committee makes an award recommendation, the assigned purchasing agent will post the results of the evaluation on the Utah Public Procurement Place website and directly contact the awarded offeror/concessionaire.
  8. The Concessions Program then drafts the contract based on the awarded concessionaire’s proposal and coordinates with the new concessionaire to finalize the contract.

How Many RFPs Does State Parks Normally Issue Each Year?

The actual number varies but approximately 4-7 RFPs are publicly posted any given year.


How Does State Parks Determine Concession Fees?

State Parks normally uses two different fee structures for concession fee payments: 1) monthly percentage of adjusted gross receipts, and 2) annual lump sum payment. The actual fee structure used for any given RFP and eventual contract is determined by the park and region managers in consultation with the Concessions Program. The Concessions Program generally recommends the monthly percentage fee as it allows payments to State Parks to fluctuate as the concession business may fluctuate. 

The desired fee structure will be identified in the RFP, and State Parks will identify a suggested fee amount based on such factors as previous concession operations, overall potential sales the park can offer the Concessionaire, existing facilities, park visitation, maintenance provided by State Parks, and other park concessions. Offerors (potential concessionaires) will then propose the fees they believe are reasonable and competitive for the RFP. The final concession fee payments identified in the awarded contract will normally be those proposed by the winning offeror.


How Does State Parks Advertise its Concession Opportunities?

New concession opportunities can be found on this website at the Future Opportunities link. Anyone interested in working with Utah State Parks should use the State Parks contact form to let us know. 

Any businesses or potential concessionaires that have provided their contact information will be contacted when a new RFP is publicly issued on the Utah Public Procurement Place website.

The Concessions Program also recommends you reach out directly to the park managers of any parks you are interested in working with to see if they have any current opportunities available that have not yet been shared with the Concessions Program.


Are there any Liability Insurance Requirements to Work with Utah State Parks?

Yes. Utah State Parks defers to the State’s Division of Risk Management to identify required insurance limits. Nearly every activity requires commercial general liability coverage from an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Utah. The standard liability limits of the CGL insurance policy are currently set at $1 million per person per occurrence and $3 million aggregate. Lower limits can be approved by Risk Management depending on the specifics of the activity.

Some activities may require additional insurance such as automobile or aircraft coverage.