Photo: A banner covers the Camp Curry sign with the tempory name Half Dome Villiage. The banner has already been removed. | NPS Photo
The National Park Service has announced that a settlement has been made between former Yosemite National Park concessionaire Delaware North and new Yosemite concessionaire Aramark to restore iconic names to the park.
After losing the contract to operate Yosemite’s concessions, Delaware North invoked trademark claims on places like the Ahwahnee Hotel, the Badger Pass ski run, the Wawona Hotel and Camp Curry— most over a century old. They even claimed a trademark on the name “Yosemite National Park” for the purposes of merchandising. Since the dispute began, park merch has simply said “Yosemite,” and the names of the landmark locations were changed.
The National Park Service and Aramark have contended those trademarks are invalid, but the matter will not be put to test in court. The federal government is paying Delaware North $3.8 million, and Aramark is paying $8.2 million to settle the dispute.
The trademarks will transfer to Aramark, who may now sell merchandise and reserve lodging using the historic names. The trademarks will transfer at no cost to the National Park Service upon the expiration or termination of Aramark’s contract. It’s a far cry from the $50 million Delaware North wanted, but still a hefty chunk of change going to a company that didn’t exist until decades after the names were coined.