Yosemite National Park forced to rename historic properties and landmarks

"Ahwahnee Hotel" for now.  Credit: fortherock

"Ahwahnee Hotel" for now. Credit: fortherock

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Author: Steven Shaw
Date: 01.14.16

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK – The National Park Service announced today that they are changing the names of several iconic places in Yosemite National Park. The NPS is reacting to potential trademark infringement issues with lame duck concessionaire, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, a subsidiary of the  Delaware North Companies. DNC had been Yosemite’s contracted concessionaire since 1993. The company recently lost a 15-year renewal contract to rival Aramark, which takes over Yosemite concessions on March 1st. The contract, valued at Two Billion Dollars, is regarded as the best in the entire park system. Yosemite’s park concessionaire provides lodging, retail, recreational services, and food to more than four million annual visitors. In a press release, the National Park Service said “Because the current concessionaire, DNCY, claimed ownership and the right to payment for trade names, trademarks, and other intellectual property that it argues are worth over $50 million dollars, the National Park Service included the option to change the names of these sites as part of the prospectus….[w]hile it is unfortunate that we must take this action, changing the names of these facilities will help us provide seamless service to the American public during the transition to the new concessionaire. Yosemite National Park belongs to the American people…[t]his action will not affect the historic status of the facilities, as they are still important cultural icons to the National Park Service and the public. Our stewardship of these properties is unwavering.” Said Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher.  The NPS maintains that DNC quietly trademarked Yosemite’s iconic properties without informing them. DNC also trademarked “Yosemite National Park.” The National Park Service is currently in a court battle with the DNC over these trademarks, service-marks, and other intellectual property.

The new names are as follows.

Yosemite Lodge at the Falls to become: Yosemite Valley Lodge

The Ahwahnee to become: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

Curry Village to become: Half Dome Village

Wawona Hotel to become: Big Trees Lodge

Badger Pass Ski Area to become: Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area

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