Yosemite Locations Change Names Over Trademark Dispute

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Photo: Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0

Update your guidebooks. The Royal Arches approach no longer begins in the Ahwahnee Hotel parking lot. That hotel is now called the Majestic Yosemite Hotel.

Due to a trademark dispute with former concessionaire Delaware North, Yosemite National Park has been forced to change the names of many of its iconic locations, some of which have been in place since the 1800s. Delaware North's claims come on the heels of a park decision not to renew their contract, for which the company had bid 2 billion dollars. Aramark will take over operation of park restaurants and hotels as of March of this year.

The Los Angeles Times reported that, “The company said that it had been required to purchase ‘the assets of the previous concessionaire, including its intellectual property, at a cost of $115 million in today’s dollars’ when it took over operations in 1993…That intellectual property included the original names.”

The park claims that the names were never part of Delaware North’s deal, but in order to avoid issues during the Aramark transition, they are changing the names of the following locations while they attempt to sort things out:

  • The Ahwahnee Hotel will become the Majestic Yosemite Hotel
  • Curry Village will become Half Dome Village
  • Yosemite Lodge at the Falls will become Yosemite Valley Lodge
  • Badger Pass Ski Area will become Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area
  • Wawona Hotel will become Big Trees Lodge

Delaware North has demanded $51 million for use of the names. The park service says the value is closer to $3.5 million, and is fighting the claims in hopes of someday restoring the historic titles.

While those are the locations the park service has conceded for the time being, there is one more that’s still in dispute: Delaware North is also claiming the trademark of the name “Yosemite National Park.”

Spokesman Scott Gediman told the Los Angeles Times that, that one is staying put.