A trademark dispute over the names of historic hotels and other beloved landmarks at Yosemite National Park won’t likely end without a courtroom fight, leaving temporary signs in place throughout the park for months to come, officials on both sides of the dispute said in newly obtained court documents. Attempts at mediation have failed to resolve the legal tussle, a former concessionaire and federal officials representing the National Park Service said in the jointly filed documents.
The dispute erupted when Delaware North lost its contract to run Yosemite facilities that include the Ahwahnee hotel, a luxurious stone and timber hotel with stunning views of the park’s fabled granite peaks. Park officials on March 1 temporarily renamed it the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Curry Village, a woodsy family friendly lodge complex, became Half Dome Village under the changes made when the Park Service awarded its largest contract valued at $2 billion to Aramark.
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, a subsidiary of Delaware North Parks & Resorts, filed a breach of contract lawsuit a year ago against the US, accusing Yosemite officials of failing to require the new concessionaire to pay fair value for the names and intellectual property.
Delaware North says the new concessionaire should have to pay it $51 million for the rights to several landmark names and other intellectual property. Park officials value the name rights at $3.5 million, according to the documents filed with the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC. The firm says it bought the intellectual property when it won the contract in 1993, and the new concessionaire should pay for them. Attorneys for the Park Service call the firm’s price ‘grossly inflated.’
In other name changes, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls became Yosemite Valley Lodge; Wawona Hotel was renamed Big Trees Lodge; and Badger Pass Ski Area is called Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.
Delaware remains willing to continue mediation with the Park Service as the legal case moves forward, said Glen White, a spokesman for company based in Buffalo, New York. “We call on the National Park Service and Aramark to end their needless use of temporary names at Yosemite,” White said. Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman declined to comment on the lawsuit.