The names of some of Yosemite National Park’s most iconic attractions are changing Tuesday.

The National Park Service announced that it would change the names of Curry Village, the Ahwahnee Hotel, Badger Pass Ski Resort and other attractions after failing to reach an agreement with the company that says it owns the trademarks to those attractions. The company — Delaware North — has served as the park’s concessionaire since 1993, running numerous operations until losing the contract to Aramark, which takes over on Tuesday.

These name changes took effect at midnight:

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

Park Service employees will start placing temporary signs over road signs directing visitors to the attractions.

Park Service spokesman Scott Gediman said they’re using the temporary signs in the hope that a settlement will be reached. Just before it was due to be covered up, a historic sign welcoming visitors to the park’s Ahwahnee Hotel was stolen over the weekend, Gediman said.

“It’s part of the park’s historic fabric,” Gediman said. “And we are taking this seriously.”

Fresno Bee on Twitter

Breaking: Chaos at #Yosemite as name-change mess causes confusion at iconic @YosemiteNPS locations: http://bit.ly/1TLU2yN

Delaware North spokesman Glen White said Park Service officials turned down the company’s offer to let the park continue using the trademark names until the legal dispute was resolved.

Gediman said the Park Service turned down the offer made Friday because that would “acknowledge they own the names.”

The names of Yosemite attractions aren’t the only iconic names to which Delaware North has staked a claim.

The company also runs concessions at the Kennedy Space Center, and has a trademark application for “Space Shuttle Atlantis,” government court papers say.

Delaware North “apparently embarked on a business model whereby it collects trademarks to the names of iconic property owned by the United States,” wrote Justice Department attorney John Robertson in the court papers.

Yosemite Visitors Bemoan Name Changes

“Yeah, changing the name of the Ahwahnee, that’s just absurd,” said Loren Haas, visiting from Napa. “And the name precedes the company that’s trying to maintain the rights to the name.”

Bill King from Tracy wasn’t crazy about the name changes either. But he doubted the transition from one concessionaire to another would have much overall impact.

“My opinion is the current transition is very smooth from a customer’s perspective,” King said.

Visitor Robert Franco wonders what the company will do with the names if it doesn’t get the tens of millions of dollars it’s asking for.

“What are they gonna do with those names? Are they gonna try and profit from those names? I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”

Court filings show the National Park Service values the trademark names at $3.5 million. Delaware North puts their worth at $51 million.

This post includes reporting from The Associated Press.

Yosemite Name Changes Take Effect 1 March,2016David Marks

  • Robert

    We’ll get over it…

    • Maybe but the point is we shouldn’t have to. A company shouldn’t be able to trademark something that isn’t theirs anymore just to extort money out of the owners.

  • Peter D. Harzewski
    • Byard Pidgeon

      Delaware North’s facts conveniently leave out the valuation of those trademark names at the time of their purchase in 1993. Given that Delaware North is attempting to assert trademark on a space shuttle and “other” properties, it seems obvious that their business model is extortion.

  • President Gas

    Oh boy … if you’ve ever eaten any food at the Oakland Coliseum since Aramark took over …………. it is PATHETIC. My advice is to visit and enjoy the park . but never eat any of the food offered up there.

  • Ann Morrison

    Can we stop the practice of selling the names? Give the concessionaire the right to lease the names, but not own them.

  • psittacid

    Hey! It’s the Turing Pharmaceutical of the world of national treasures!

  • Leona Perry

    Delaware North seems to think that trademarking these iconic names can force its clients into renewing their contracts. I can’t see any other reason they would do such a thing. Crooked business. I have no respect for a company that would do stoop this low.

  • This is just nuts.

  • Airbnb User
  • rebecca blair

    Who was the lawyer at the meeting when they first decided to give the contract to Delaware on ’93? He didn’t see that little tidbit that they would own the name. Someone find this smuck! And why is there such a big gap on the worth of the name?

  • rebecca blair

    Also I work for Shenendoah National Park which is contracted to Delaware North. They were given the contract after Aramark lost it. I’m assuming Its the same here. Assuming but don’t know. But when I look at the logo for the resorts it Shenandoah Delaware North.

  • First it’s so horrible that a private company would do something like this, although not that unexpected. Anything to make a buck right?

    Second it’s even worse that our trademark system can allow something like this to happen. Once their contract on the locations ended their control over the location names should end as well.

  • sactorox

    Everything about this makes me mad. How the park service could ne so inept to not write trademark controls into their contracts with the private sector is beyond me. Delaware should be barred from contracting for national park services.

  • Julie Rice Presson

    The Trademarks should never have been given to the Company. There needs to be a law passed to not allow this. I would be all the names have been in use before the people who own the company were even born. What that means is anyone can get a trademark on any name and then make the people who came up with the name buy it back!!! This company should not be allowed to contract with any taxpayer supported activity. What are they going to so claim a trademark on America next?

    • James Deal

      Ask your government why they allowed it then.It’s all legal,so sorry

  • Ronik

    This is another negative result of privatization. It should never, ever happen. Not only does it cost more than it would if the park service ran it, but the quality is lower, the employees are paid much, much less, and now this. Private corporations should not run government-owned anything. Why should we pay for these companies to make a profit, and then do something atrocious like this. Its horrible, and it needs to stop. End Privatization.

  • Patty

    Local residents who have grown up in and around Yosemite won’t change the names! They, whoever they are have no control over how we communicate locations in the park. I’m sure native Americans who were born in the park still have their names that they haven’t changed. These companies just have to piss on their territory like greedy dogs.

  • Ed Carter

    Seems like something problem kids would do ….kids that have too much time on their hands

  • James Deal

    I worked there for years Delaware North did great things for that park .Good luck selling your generic crap ,You really messed up a good thing

    • James Deal

      Oh and every liberal from San Francisco stop pretending your the greatest climbers in the world because you spent1000 dollars buying your gear for your first Trek into Yosemite remember where your water comes from ,and know random people with names like John Ford will out do you every day of the week with his Wal Mart boots.

Author

David Marks

David Marks is an interactive producer for KQED News and The California Report. He began as full-time interactive producer in 2015, after working as KQED's audio archivist and promotions manager for Radio. Prior to that, David was an announcer and DJ at NPR member station KRCC in Colorado Springs. Reach him at dmarks@kqed.org.

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