|Above, a map of Yosemite National Park.|
Thanks to a dispute with some assholes from Buffalo, Delaware North, the soon-to-be former concessionaire at Yosemite National Park, several of the park's attractions and landmarks will be undergoing name changes as of March 1.
According to the Minneapolis StarTribune:
Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel — one of the country’s storied lodges, in one of the great national parks — may soon be no more, at least in name. The structure, tucked into Yosemite Valley with a timbered dining room and oversized stone fireplaces, could soon be given a prosaic new moniker: the Majestic Yosemite Hotel.
The Ahwahnee got its name in the 1920s, when the National Park Service built it. It is a National Historic Landmark.
A new name is also coming to Curry Village, a tent lodging option founded in 1899 by David and Jennie Curry, schoolteachers who couldn’t afford the going rate for a hotel room inside the park. It will be called Half Dome Village. Also, the historic Wawona Hotel is to become Big Trees Lodge.
This unfortunate renaming, set to take effect March 1, stems from a business squabble. In June, the Park Service awarded a 15-year contract for running the hotels and other visitor services in Yosemite to Aramark, rather than the current concessionaire, Delaware North. Delaware North filed a lawsuit, claiming it should be paid $44 million for the names and trademarked logos, which appear on mugs, T-shirts and other souvenirs.And that's not all, items with the name "Yosemite National Park" will be pulled from park souvenir shelves.
SF Gate reported:
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — The trademark spat that is prompting the National Park Service to change the names of a handful of treasured sites at Yosemite, including the Ahwahnee Hotel and Curry Village, has taken a startling turn — to the park’s gift shops.
Merchandise embossed with the name “Yosemite National Park,” from T-shirts to coffee mugs to pens, will be pulled from store shelves this week because of claims by the park’s outgoing concessionaire that it owns the name for commercial purposes, according to the park’s new operator, Aramark, which is based in Philadelphia.It will be interesting to see the changes caused by those Delaware North idiots when I visit Yosemite in two months from now. I am hopeful that the name changes will be temporary. This is one time I am in favor of the government winning a lawsuit.
In a related story, bi-partisan California legislators have introduced a bill protecting California's state parks and historical places from concessionaires who may try to trademark their names and attractions.
When I first blogged about this story, I called for a boycott of anything to do with Delaware North. I have not changed my mind.