Yosemite Forced to Rename All Its Hotels Due to an Opportunistic Intellectual Property Battle

Illustration for article titled Yosemite Forced to Rename All Its Hotels Due to an Opportunistic Intellectual Property Battle

You probably think of Yosemite National Park as a haven for nature, a place to experience all that is good and pure, in a landscape untainted by commercialism. Nope, just like the rest of the world, it’s being ruined by greedy assholes.

In the early 1900s, shortly after Yosemite was founded as one of the country’s first national parks, several camps, hotels, and lodges were built to provide accommodations for visitors, including the striking 99-room Ahwahnee hotel as its centerpiece. On March 1, all those historic properties will be renamed thanks to an ongoing intellectual property dispute.

Concessionaire Delaware North, which previously ran The Ahwahnee, Curry Village, and other properties at Yosemite, claims it was forced to purchase the intellectual property of the properties it operated, including the names, in 1993. Now Delaware North has lost the park contract to competitor Aramark and wants to be paid $50 million for the naming rights.


So if you’ve ever thought of the stunning 1927 lodge (adapted for the interiors in The Shining) as a particularly majestic hotel, you’re in luck. The Ahwahnee will be renamed the “Majestic Yosemite Hotel.”

This is a frightening peek into our Branded™ and overly litigious future. Not to mention the fact that this will cost the park big bucks to change signage, stationery, uniforms, and other branded materials. And you know how national parks are flush with cash!

Perhaps the silliest change of all is that of Curry Village, which is named after David and Jennie Curry, two Indiana teachers who opened the camp and operated the first concessionaire company in the park, Curry Company. Delaware North bought the names from... Curry Company.

Starting March 1 you will no longer be able to check in to the Yosemite hotels and lodges you once knew. Please instead visit:

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

Can someone from the state of Delaware sue the shit out of Delaware North and shut these opportunistic punks down for good?


[There’s more on the case at the LA Times, and here’s Delaware North’s side of the story]

Follow the author at @awalkerinLA

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I’m not getting the outrage. Hotels change names all the time when a new company buys them, usually because they’re named after the company that owns, but sometimes not.

If the parks service didn’t want this to happen, they shouldn’t have sold the IP (or forced it to be sold) or they should be willing to purchase it back. Or they shouldn’t have let jingoism rule the day and not forced Curry to relinquish the contract just because it was bought by a Japanese company.