Lawsuit Stole the Historic Names of Yosemite

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National Park Service

Yosemite Gets Its Historic Place Names Back

By Jason Daley Smithsonian.com

For generations, families vacationing inside Yosemite National Park stayed at the Ahwahnee Hotel, the Wawona, Badger Pass Ski Area and Camp Curry. But in 2016, plastic tarps went up covering the names of those iconic locations. Slogans around the park were also altered. The changes were a result of a lawsuit brought by a former concessionaire who owned the trademarks and service marks of many well-known Yosemite spots. That lawsuit recently settled, paving the way for the tarps to be removed to reveal the original names once more.

The spat, as Alex Wigglesworth at the Los Angeles Times reports, began in 2015 after the company running the hotels and restaurants in the park, Delaware North Inc., lost its contract, valued at approximately $2 billion in revenues over a 15-year period, to a subsidiary of rival Aramark.

When Aramark took over, Delaware North demanded $50 million to let the company continue using the names. As it turned out, when Delaware North took over operations of Yosemite’s concessions in 1993, it was required to purchase the intellectual property of the previous concessions company. That included the names of many of the locations within the park.

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