Lots of our readers have been asking the DUNER BLOG about the crazy name-changing at Yosemite National Park. Let's sort this mess out!
Why the sudden switch? This is California, which is all about two things: Lucrative business contracts and High-priced litigation. This one begins back in 1994, when the coveted concessionaire contract was up for renewal. Delaware North won and signed an agreement with the US Park Service to run Yosemite's public resorts. During this period, the company trademarked the three names in question, citing protection of retail profits. Now, to the present: Last year, service giant Aramark outbid others and was granted the new contract. Dejected, Delaware North refused to relinquish rights to the cherished names. Basically, Aramark was forced to manufacture the new titles until the court case is resolved.
Will the nasty spat ever be resolved? Currently, Aramark is forced to cover the historic signs with vinyl new ones barring the new, horribly unpopular, monikers. (Except for the granite Ahwanhee sign, which was stolen before it could be defaced!) Anyhow...this is California...so it all comes down to MONEY. Delaware North demands $51 million to relinquish rights, not the paltry $3 million offered by the Park Service. Until a compromise is brokered, expect more posturing from both sides.
But most importantly... Yosemite is all about NATURE. And the wet El Nino storms mean this year could be highest volume in the falls EVER!