Grand Canyon River Concessions

In September of 1971, Grand Canyon National Park announced a prospectus for concessionaire river trips on the Colorado River in the Park. Since then, concessions contracts have been renewed on a roughly ten year basis.

Click here to download the 2018 river concessions prospectus as a PDF (2.5MB) Click here to see a list of questions the river concessions asked the NPS about the prospectus.

The prospectus attempted to raise fees returned to the National Park Service for the privilidge of doing business in one of the seven natural wonders of the world from a tiered structure requiring payment of 4% to 18% of certain gross receipts, to one requiring payment of 5% to 22.5% of gross receipts. Over the last ten years, one of the river concessions per person prices have increased from $2,430 for a six night trip to $3,050 which is a 25% increase.

After being lobbied by the river concessions and their trade association, in April, 2018, the Congressional Western Caucus sent a letter of complaint about the franchise fees.

In an August Press Release, Arizona Congressional Representative Paul Gosar stated "

"On August 7, 2018, the National Perk Service Intermountain Region sent prospective concessionaires seeking to provide guided multi-day interpretive whitewater river trips within Grand Canyon National Park a letter informing them that the agency has heard the concerns of concessionaires and the Western Caucus and decided to cancel solicitation contracts that would have imposed exorbitant fees on guides and outfitters that provide whitewater rafting trips within Grand Canyon National Park. Instead of implementing this misguided proposal, the agency extended "the existing contracts for one year through December 31, 2019 in order to avoid an interruption of visitor services."

“Threatening the visitor experience and livelihoods of job creators within the Grand Canyon defies common sense. Secretary Zinke and Acting Director Smith answered our call and came through in a big way for guides, outfitters and tourists that enjoy whitewater rafting. This is a major win for local economies in Northern Arizona that would have been negatively impacted by the exorbitant franchise fees proposed by regional bureaucrats.”