After Lengthy Lawsuit, Historic Names in Yosemite Have Been Restored

yosemite curry village
Courtesy of Nimish Gogri/Flickr

On Monday, after a years-long lawsuit regarding trademark issues between Yosemite National Park‘s former (Delaware North Companies Inc.) and current (Aramark) concessionaires finally came to a $12-million settlement. This means that historic names of places in the park – some of which had been around for over a century – like the Ahwahnee Hotel and Curry Village have been restored, according to the National Parks Traveler.

The dispute began in 2015 when Delaware North Companies Inc. lost a $2-billion contract renewal bid to Yosemite Hospitality, LLC (Aramark) over the operation of park facilities (including restaurants, hotels, and other visitor attractions), as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Prior to losing that bid, Delaware North stated that they would seek $51 million in order for the new concessionaire to use those iconic names for park facilities, reports the NP Traveler. Following that statement, the National Park Service said that it would allow the new concessionaire (Aramark) to propose alternative names for certain park attractions, in which they eventually did.

According to the NP Traveler, some of the name changes included Half Dome Village (formerly Curry Village), The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel), Big Trees Lodge (formerly the Wawona Hotel), and Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area (formerly Badger Pass Ski Area), among others.

“The National Park Service looks forward to the restoration of some of the previous names of the properties at Yosemite, including the Ahwahnee hotel, and the resumed use of other trademarks in connection with concessionaire activities at Yosemite,” the NPS said in a press release. “Any changes to the current names of properties at Yosemite National Park following this settlement will be based upon a schedule to be determined by Aramark and the National Park Service.”

Under the settlement with Delaware North – $3.84 million to be paid by the U.S. government and $8.16 million to be paid by Aramark – the resolve of the trademark dispute on Monday finally ended with celebration, including the removal of the banner that covered the historic Camp Curry sign. And according to the LA Times, people in attendance were crying.

“I’ve said from literally Day One that these names belong with these places, and ultimately belong to the American people,” Yosemite National Park spokesman Scott Gediman told the LA Times. “So to have this dispute resolved is huge.”

It’s also important to note that, according to NP Traveler, the current concession contract that Aramark has with the National Park Service will transfer those service marks and trademarks to the NPS at no cost upon the expiration (or termination) of Aramark’s contract, so that these legacy names can remain in use.

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