Business partnership opportunities available in state parks, harbors

Every year, more than 28 million people head to Michigan state parks and harbors to enjoy the outdoors. The business operators who provide food and beverage sales, equipment rentals, horse stable operations, firewood and merchandise sales, lighthouse tours, shuttle service and other recreation-related services in many of these destinations play a big role in the experience.

The DNR Parks and Recreation Division offers opportunities each year for partnerships to operate concessions and other business prospects. Currently, nearly 75 concessionaires operate some type of business within the Michigan state parks and recreation system. In addition to generating revenue for the DNR, these business operations also help create jobs within the state’s private sector.

“Our business operators provide tremendous services to our customers every year,” said Lori Ruff, DNR Parks and Recreation Division concession and lease manager. “They improve and add value to the visitor experience in many ways, offering services that staff otherwise could not provide.”

Right now, the DNR is offering a number of business opportunities to operate concessions and other services at several DNR properties, including openings for beach and camp stores, mobile food operations, water park operations, watercraft rentals, a riding stable, electric vehicle charging stations and others.

Visit to see a list of current opportunities and locations. This list is regularly updated as opportunities are added or filled.

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