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Ahwahnee Hotel to Return: Yosemite Settles Trademark Fight



Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite
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The Ahwahnee Hotel is coming back. Under a settlement of a drawn-out trademark dispute announced Monday, the names of several Yosemite National Park landmarks will be restored.
Delaware North, the former concession vendor which claimed it owned “intellectual property” rights to the names, settled with the parks service and with the current vendor, Aramark, which operates in the Sierra park as Yosemite Hospitality.
Under terms of the settlement, all contractual disputes between Delaware North, the park service, and Aramark are settled. The settlement also “provides payments to Delaware North,” according to a park service news release, which didn’t provide monetary amounts.

Curry Village, Badger Pass Names to Return

The legal standoff, which began in 2014, affected not just the Ahwahnee — which has since been called The Majestic Yosemite Hotel — but Curry Village (renamed as Half Dome Village), Wawona Hotel (Big Trees Lodge), Badger Pass Ski Area (Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area), and Yosemite Lodge at the Falls (Yosemite Valley Lodge).
The National Park Service looks forward to the restoration of some of the previous names of the properties at Yosemite, including the Ahwahnee hotel, and the resumed use of other trademarks in connection with concessioner activities at Yosemite,” the park service said in a statement. “Any changes to the current names of properties at Yosemite National Park following this settlement will be based upon a schedule to be determined by Aramark and the National Park Service.”

Delaware North Loses Concession Contract

The settlement also noted that all trademarks and service marks will transfer at no cost to the National Park Service if Aramark’s contract expires or is terminated. That is presumably to avoid the trademark dispute that occurred with Delaware North.
In 2014, the parks service opened for bidding the contract for providing lodging and dining concessions at Yosemite. Delaware North, which had provided those services since 1993, told the park service it owned the rights to the name of several Yosemite landmarks, and would ask for $51 million to relinquish them.
The park service chose Aramark over Delaware North. Delaware North filed a lawsuit, claiming more than $10 million in damages because the park service didn’t require Aramark to purchase Delaware North’s “intangible properties.”
In January 2016, the park service announced it would change the names of the disputed landmarks to avoid a costly legal battle with Delaware North.