You might think that the names of the hotels operated in Yosemite National Park would be public domain but the company that recently lost the contract to run them thinks they are worth $51 million and is willing to go to court to fight it out.
The prestigious Ahwahnee will now be know as the the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, and Curry Village will be renamed Half Dome Village after Delaware North lost the $2 billion bid to run Yosemite’s hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities and is enforcing trademarks they acquired during the failed process. Delaware North applied for to the trademark the historic names (Curry Village has operated under that name since the 1800’s) when it prepared to bid on the contract for the parks operations. They lost the 15 year contract to Aramark, a similar hospitality operations management company, last year.
There are other name changes underway to avoid litigation including Badger Pass Ski Area now being called Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area. As you might already imagine, locals and park regulars are appalled by Delaware North’s move to put a price on some our national treasures’ names. National Park Service says the names and other intellectual property that Delaware North now owns are worth about $3.5 million according to a lawsuit filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Delaware North is willing to “lend” the trademarked names free of charge until their claim is resolved but for now Yosemite will operate the assets under new names.
* even if you have never been to Yosemite you may recognize the interior of the hotel formerly known as Ahwahnee from its use in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 classic The Shining.