NPS Issues Prospectus For Operation Of Cape Cod Golf Course

The National Park Service is looking for someone to operate the Highland Links golf course at Cape Cod National Seashore/NPS file

Do you find yourself at work most afternoons dreaming of improving your golf game rather than staring at a spreadsheet of tiny numbers plastered across a computer screen? If so, your ship may have arrived. Not only is there an opportunity to spend most days on the links, you may be able to earn a living doing it.

The National Park Service has issued a prospectus for operating Highland Links, a nine-hole golf course that is part of Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. 

Highland Links was founded in the late-1800s as “Highland House of Golf Links” that was part of a family-operated resort. The course is described by the National Park Service as “one of America’s golf treasures, perched high along windswept bluffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean next to the vintage Highland Light.”  According to the prospectus, the soil and ecology have resulted in a course that is in the Scottish tradition. You can view Highland Links from above on Google at this page.

The NPS prospectus is for a 10-year operating contract with a beginning date of January 1, 2025.  Requirements include offering both pull and motorized rental carts, operating the pro shop with golfing equipment available for sale, renting golf equipment, and maintaining a “fast casual” food and beverage service in the pro shop. The operator is authorized, but not required to offer golf lessons, sell alcoholic beverages, operate a vending service, and promote special events that must first be approved by the park superintendent. The course is to be open year-round.

NPS estimates total revenues for 2025, the initial year of operation under the new contract, at between $900,000 and $1,100,000, approximately 80 percent of which will be generated by greens fees. The revenue estimate is based on a projected 9,000 to 11,000 rounds of golf (18-hole equivalent). This compares to actual revenue of $1,084,000 in 2021, the last year of operation data offered in the prospectus. 

A one-time initial investment required of a new operator is forecast at $382,000, mostly for personal property such as furniture, fixtures, equipment and vehicles. Funds must also be available for hiring, training, marketing and acquisition of inventory (retail merchandise, food and beverage), the amount of which is included in the $382,000. The prospectus requires a minimum franchise fee of 9.1 percent of gross receipts be paid to the National Park Service.  This is essentially the cost of renting the course from the National Park Service. A bidder can offer a higher fee in an effort to improve the chance of being selected. An additional 0.4 percent of revenues is required as a reserve fund for maintenance and repair of concession facilities.

Notice of a plan to submit a proposal must be received by NPS via email by 4 p.m. EST on June 14, 2024.  Email [email protected]

David and Kay Scott are authors of “Exploring the Oregon Trail: America’s Historic Road Trip” (Globe Pequot).  Visit them at


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