How to become a California State Park Concessionaire
The Department partners with a variety of businesses, non-profits, and public agencies through concession contracts, co-operative agreements, and operating agreements to offer the public these goods and services. How these opportunities are made available to the public is regulated by the California Public Resources Code, Sections 5080 et. Seq.  Learn more about becoming a State Parks concessionaire.

The Concessions Program at California State Parks provides a very important part of the park visitor's experience. Concessionaires offer the facilities, services, and goods that the State could not otherwise provide, ranging from traditional food services and campground grocery stores, to equestrian tours and rafting trips. Within the system’s historic parks, concessionaires help the Department achieve its interpretation and education mission by providing historical re-enactments and other enrichment programs. These programs add vitality, interest, and excitement to our fascinating heritage preserved and protected by California State Parks.  See Questions and Answers about Concessions to learn more.

Annual Report 2011-12 Annual Report
View the Annual Report to learn more.


Appointment of  Deputy Director of Marketing and Business Analysis 

The Governor's office announced the appointment of Doug Neilson as the new Deputy Director of Marketing and Business Analysis for California State Parks.  Mr. Neilson has extensive experience in the field of marketing, business development, and tourism, and as a Chief Executive Officer.  He served as Director of Business & Corporate Development, for a company called FOUR YEARS.GO, where he developed key strategic business initiatives such as brand identity, website design and content, media solutions, establishment of business alliances & partnerships, and sponsorships. He was President & CEO, Visit Milwaukee (VM), from 2001 - 2009. He was VP of Sales for the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau (SFCVB) from 1992 to 2000, where he led sales and services staff of 22, including offices in DC and Chicago. Earlier in his career, he served as Director of Sales & Marketing with Grand Hyatt/San Francisco, then Marketing Director with Park Lane Hotels International and Parc 55 Hotel, also in San Francisco.  Among Mr. Neilson's new assignments will be the current Concessions Program, and he is scheduled to report on October 1, 2013.

Matching-Fund Donation Program

The FY 2013-14 budget included available funds for the Department to match a donation to improve park facilities and public services.  Following a commitment of funds to prevent park unit closures, the balance may be used to enhance other parks. If there is a particular park project of mutual benefit to your concession operation and the park unit, please consider making a donation that can be matched with public funds.  The first step would be to speak with your local park superintendent.


California State Parks Concessions Program wants to hear about your successful partnership collaboration.  We hope to include success stories of potential benefit to other partners to inspire innovation in the delivery of enhanced park visitor services.  You may send suggestions to 

Park Unit Websites

Have you checked your park unit website lately?  Does it contain information about your products and services and/or a link to your own business website?  If not, we encourage you to initiate a discussion with your local district office to make park visitors aware of the services and amenities available to them when they visit the park.   

Coordinated Events

Do you know what's going on in your park unit during the next six months?  Are you in touch with the cooperating association for your park?  You can maximize available resources and talents to increase visitor interest in what we have to offer through collaboration with a variety of stakeholders.  How about in-kind exchanges of products and services between profit and non-profit groups?  For example, a restaurant concession might consider the donation of a dinner for a non-profit fundraising event that benefits both partners.  Take the initiative!