Yosemite to change names of some historic properties due to trademark dispute

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Yosemite National Park Name Changes (KFSN)

The names "The Ahwahnee" and "Curry Village" will soon change and the phrase "Yosemite National Park" still in litigation as the Delaware North Companies claims the trademarks are worth $50 million.
Officials say the changes are necessary to eliminate trademark issues for the new concessionaire. The name changes impact several iconic buildings and landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The national park selected Yosemite Hospitality LLC, a subsidiary of Aramark, to be the new primary concessionaire in Yosemite. However, the current concessionaire, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. (DNCY), a subsidiary of the Delaware North Companies, claimed they owned the trademarks and other intellectual property. They argued those trademarks are worth over $50 million.

"While 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," stated Neubacher. "This 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."

In a news release on Thursday, Yosemite National Park said, "Without prior National Park Service concurrence, DNCY or its predecessor had previously trademarked or service-marked several nationally significant properties in the park including The Ahwahnee Hotel, Badger Pass, Curry Village, Wawona Hotel, and Yosemite Lodge. DNCY also trademarked the phrase 'Yosemite National Park.' The National Park Service is currently in litigation in part over these trademarks, service-marks, and other intellectual property."

The new names were chosen in order to minimize the impact on visitors and include:

  • 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

Soldiers and sailors are relaxing in front of the Ahwahnee Hotel, Naval Convalescent Hospital at Yosemite National Park, Calif., during World War II, August 16, 1943.

RELATED: Concessionaire claims yosemite naming rights amid contract negotiation
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Some of the most recognizable names in Yosemite National Park could be up for grabs. That's because Yosemite is in the middle of a contract negotiation for the next concessionaire.

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