How to be a State Park Concessionaire

Sign for a park store listing items for saleConcessionaires are vital to Texas State Parks. They offer facilities, services and products that Texas Parks and Wildlife Department could not otherwise provide.

What is a leased concession?
Leased concessions are private businesses operating under contract in state parks and natural areas. The businesses provide products and services that are in line with the preservation and conservation of the park.

What type of concessions are available?
Concessions range from small scale, seasonal services (such as food trucks) to large-scale, year-round operations (such as marinas). Concessions include lodging for overnight visitors, gift shops, park stores, marinas, equestrian facilities, food services, equipment rentals, cave tours, guide services, vending machines and shuttle services.

How do I become a concessionaire?
There are two ways to become a concessionaire.
  • Submit a proposal for an existing park concession. We announce concession opportunities through a request for proposal process. Find out about concession opportunities.
  • Develop your own idea! If you have an idea for a concession at a state park, contact the park and ask to speak to the park superintendent. He or she understands the goals and objectives of the park and can tell you if your proposal is compatible.
How is a concessionaire selected?
We select concessionaires carefully, to ensure that they can live up to the terms of the contract. They must have ample financing and be able to operate the concession economically. They must adhere to business practices that emphasize public service and are consistent with preserving and conserving the park.
We have the right to disregard any or all proposals submitted or make reasonable counter proposals. We conduct complete reviews of proposals and personal interviews before we recommend a concessionaire. Occasionally we convene a review board of agency staff, local community members, industry experts or other individuals relevant to the opportunity.

What types of concession contracts does TPWD issue?
We issue three types of contracts:
  • A revocable short-term contract grants minor concession privileges. These include vending machines, coin-operated machines, rental equipment, and other services or accommodations. We may not officially announce these types of concessions.
  • We issue revocable temporary contracts when needed to continue services, provide interim services, or for a test period to determine the feasibility of a new concession in a park.
  • A standard long-term contract grants major rights and privileges. We use these when the concessionaire must make a sizable investment in inventory, furnishings or equipment, or carry out maintenance or repair of state-owned structures.
How long are concession contracts?
Contract length varies:
  • Revocable short-term contracts are issued for two years or less, but may be extended beyond the two-year period under certain conditions.
  • Revocable temporary contracts are issued for six to 18 months.
  • Long-term concession contract terms are issued up to 10 years. However capital improvement requirements may warrant a longer term. We set the duration of a contract to allow for a reasonable return on investment.
Automatic renewal rights are never offered in a concession contract.

How are concession franchise fees determined?
TPWD’s executive director or his designee determine franchise fees. We consider the type of operations, gross receipts, net profit and capital investment.

Who benefits from franchise fees?
Franchise fees help fund all Texas State Parks, so all Texans benefit.

How can I find out about concession opportunities?
We email notices of opportunities and we post on our concession opportunities page. We also advertise in the immediate area of the park, and on a state or national level when warranted.

Return to Texas State Parks Concession Opportunities.