Reinventing the Customer Experience

The Challenge

Modernizing the digital customer experience is a priority for federal agencies, and was no exception. More than half a billion people visit federal lands and waters each year. Visitors planning those visits and vacations expect an experience consistent with how they interact every day on commercial websites and mobile apps. The employee experience is also critical. Thousands of federal land and facility managers working in the field needed a self-service, modern platform to streamline operations and administrative tasks so they could concentrate on what they love: visitor and resource management.

Interagency partners understood that the website needed a modern reboot with modular architecture and open-source technologies like those used by commercial e-commerce sites. They envisioned a reimagined, cloud-native digital platform that would give visitors a more modern customer experience—one that truly revolutionizes how people explore the nation’s public lands.

computer demonstrating

The Approach is an ongoing investment for Booz Allen, designed collaboratively with participating agencies, but at no upfront cost to the federal government. Instead of a traditional cost structure, the unique contractual agreement is a transaction-based fee model that lets the government and Booz Allen share in risk, reward, results, and impact. This is a true public-private partnership—it is not funded through any tax dollars or other agency appropriations.

Designed with citizen experiences in mind, the platform is founded on extensive user research and feedback from visitors and field staff. Prior to the launch of the platform, Booz Allen conducted research with more than 300 users and developed a brand strategy that is based on current user behaviors consistently applied across all digital platforms. The user experience of the platform continues to be optimized, with the team leveraging a suite of digital listening and outreach tools to engage and respond to feedback from thousands of users each year to improve the customer experience and enhance the platform. 

Using modern e-commerce technologies, our Booz Allen team of software engineers, cloud architects, customer experience specialists, and other experts led the accelerated reinvention of the legacy site. We implemented DevSecOps practices and a microservice model to enable continuous delivery and a cycle of improvement that rapidly responds to user feedback and changing market conditions. We brought an advanced approach to agile software development while keeping it flexible, scalable, and secure. The platform is deployed to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to achieve substantial redundancy and resiliency. Since release, the system has maintained more than a 99.985-percent uptime.


Over the first five years of operation:


production deployments


lines of code


Grew from 4 services to more than 22


total page views


reservations made


online sessions


total user accounts


app downloads


annual site visitors

75% decrease

in customer contact center volume


increase in Net Promoter Score (key measure of customer satisfaction)

*Source: Operational Data (10/1/2018 - 12/31/2023)

The Solution

Today’s delivers the most advanced technical infrastructure and customer experience among federal and state government services within the recreation market and is on par with the most successful commercial platforms.

The platform uses the same technology as leading commercial e-commerce websites to help federal land agencies manage the nation’s most beautiful places, and the mobile app has a 4.9 rating in the Apple App Store. This modern and modular technology blueprint is purpose-built to deliver more value to the customer and user. For example, each facility can update content, booking windows, fees, reservation details, business rules, and more based on local needs. That way, field managers can make changes to content, communications, and business rules in real time versus in days or weeks—and the public has access to the most up-to-date information.

The site uses cloud-native microservices and continuous delivery to meet availability, scalability, and delivery requirements. Its advanced technical infrastructure and Booz Allen’s investment allow the program to continually evolve to address the needs of agencies, facilities, and citizens. In March 2020, COVID-19 challenges highlighted the importance of this innovative and flexible approach. Together, Booz Allen and our federal partners quickly identified and launched new functionality to help facilities reopen safely, including features such as contactless payment, timed entry, and scan-&-pay. These tools enabled federal lands to offer safe and convenient experiences to the public while abiding by local and federal guidelines. 

With Booz Allen’s technical expertise, has elevated how people experience the nation’s federal lands and waterways. It has also provided field staff with the tools they need to better manage their locations, reducing their administrative tasks so they can focus more time on visitors—letting rangers be rangers. With more than 49 million site visitors in FY23, the platform has generated more than $303 million in revenue for the federal government, facilitated more than 10 million annual reservations, and garnered more than 110.5 million website sessions.

Due to the scale and impact of’s public-facing services, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) selected the site as a high-impact service provider, meaning OMB regularly meets with interagency partners to understand how the site is continuously improving the customer experience. To that end, Booz Allen continually adapts to user needs and feedback with enhanced capabilities each year. In fiscal year 2023, this included improved features such as:

  • Tour Builder, a self-service tool to create tour programs from scratch and set the business rules and fees without developer assistance.
  • Guest Checkout, for visitors to make timed entry reservations as guest users through streamlining the check-in process and day-of booking.
  • Findability tools, to make it easier for visitors to find available offerings of interest—including availability alerts, flexible date search, “available this weekend” suggestions, camping recommendations, and trip-preference filters.
  • Availability Alerts, in response to visitor feedback and industry trends to improve the customer experience by allowing visitors to select a currently reserved site or activity, create an alert (based on their dates and preferences), and be notified by email or push notification if a site or activity that matches their alert becomes available.  
  • Enhanced site accessibility, for all abilities and users including keyboard-only users, visitors with screen readers, and those with limited bandwidth or connectivity challenges. has become a model for how the federal government incorporates a consumer-friendly design with agile development, cognitive and cloud technologies, secure DevSecOps, and AI technology for automation. In addition, as a true public-private partnership, is paving the way for how the federal government and industry set the standard for modern customer experience.

Booz Allen and Frequently Asked Questions and Answers is a model of continuous, outcomes-oriented delivery. A partnership between a U.S. federal government interagency team and Booz Allen, enhances access to federal public lands and waters, protects federal resources, enables staff to spend more time in the field, and allows visitors to more easily enjoy America’s outdoor and cultural destinations.

The following are frequently asked questions about the program, the platform designed by Booz Allen, and the partnership model.

How is the platform impacting user experience and improving access to federal public lands and waters?

From a visitor making an online reservation to a park rolling out new services, the priority of is to deliver a commercial-quality user experience for everyone. Across all transactions and throughout the peak seasons of the calendar, users have a mobile, secure, resilient, intuitive system at their fingertips. We are investing heavily in mobile solutions for both visitors and park staff, along with capabilities to ensure that the platform is accessible to a diverse range of users. In order to understand user needs, the team gets feedback from a myriad of listening channels that Booz Allen reviews with our government partners on a quarterly basis. Together, we use that continuous feedback to make data-driven decisions about the design approach.


Data and visitor feedback continue to demonstrate an overall positive story about user experience with the platform. For example, as of January 2024, about 11,000 of the nearly 14,000 ratings and reviews from past reservation holders for the Rocky Mountain National Park timed entry permit system are 4 or 5 stars. For another high-traffic destination, Arches National Park, the timed entry system has received 4,705 ratings and reviews, 3,217 of which are 5 stars.


Beyond the website and app, Booz Allen is continuing to partner with the interagency team to enhance features for users of all abilities. For example, the online help center and call center, both managed by Booz Allen, work with the team to help fill the gap for visitors who need additional assistance with making online reservations (or simply prefer to talk to a human being), and satisfaction scores for these interactions are well above industry standards. Ongoing improvements are being made for screen readers and keyboard-only users, and the team is responding to user feedback by deploying new customer-centric capabilities including availability alerts, quick filters and navigation, and increased communication options for a more customizable experience.


In addition, notable upgrades to the suite of field management tools available through the R1S Ranger App (both Android and iOS) signified a major step in helping get facility staff out from behind a desk and allowing them to spend more time with visitors in the field. Continued expansion of mobile management tools allows staff to conduct more business on the go and increase the amount of time spent with visitors.


The above is just a snapshot of ongoing development to deploy customer-centric capabilities and continually transform what agencies and the public can receive from the platform.

Are agencies and facilities mandated to participate in the program, and who sets the reservation policies?

No, there is no mandate to use the services that are available in the program. The 14 agencies that participate in the program have done so by choice. In most cases, the choice to participate in the program and in any of the services is left up to the individual facilities based on their needs. There are currently more than 5,000 facilities and over 125,000 individual reservable sites and activities across the nation that can be accessed through


Agencies may choose to participate in for several reasons, including automation of administrative tasks, increased management capability, cost reduction, risk reduction, or better customer service. The platform allows field users to manage their locations with less administrative time and cost, more data for informed decision making, less cash collection, and improved customer experience. This is done without individual facilities having to put resources toward contracting, financial processing, IT support, or quality control. The reservation system has also led to increases in occupancy, revenue, and customer satisfaction for the facilities that participate.


Participating agencies customize individual policies for their campgrounds, sites, and activities featured on the platform. The facilities also set their own booking windows and update their own content, fees, reservation details, and business rules to address their local needs in real time. Booz Allen does not set the policies or fees for customers but ensures that serves the evolving requirements of the individual agencies and facilities that choose to participate.

How is the contract funded, and how does that impact reservation fees?

Booz Allen operates under a competitively awarded contract with fixed-unit pricing (set for the duration of the contract) to minimize customer costs. Booz Allen is subject to quality and performance controls to ensure this public-private partnership drives innovation, collaboration, and solutions to facility and visitor management challenges. In coordination with our agency partners, Booz Allen continually invests its own funds for the continued modernization and growth of—evolving and expanding services to address and anticipate the needs of agencies, facilities, and citizens. By design, this means that Booz Allen takes on the investment risk to build the site to the government’s specifications, and the partnership is focused on delivering high-value outcomes, technical customization, and a world-class customer experience. is not funded by Congressional appropriations or any other portion of the agency budgets and relies on reservation fees to fund the program. Those reservation fees are set and managed by the participating U.S. federal government agencies. Booz Allen does not receive any fees or other funds directly through, and the majority of revenue generated through goes back to the agencies and facilities.

For additional FAQs, Visit