Ben Margot / AP
The names of several large hotels and warehouses in Yosemite National Park, California are being restored after a year-long trademark dispute.
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel has returned to its original name, The Ahwahnee. And a number of huts, which were temporarily referred to as Half Dome Village, now bears the historic name Camp Curry.
"From day one, I said these names belong to these places and ultimately belong to the American people," said Scott Gediman, spokesman for Yosemite National Park, to the Los Angeles Times. "The resolution of this dispute is enormous."
A settlement announced Monday ends a dispute that began in 2015 when Yosemite did not renew its contract with its long-standing concession provider, a subsidiary of the major provider Delaware North. Instead, Yosemite Hospitality, a subsidiary of Aramark, has been contracted for 15 years.
Delaware North sued. And as Kirk Siegler of NPR reported at the time, it turned out that the company had registered the names of some of the websites it manages as a trademark.
To give up these brands, it required a large sum – much larger than the National Park Service said they were worth. Delaware North wanted $ 50 million for brands and service brands, reported Siegler. "No, thank you, says Yosemite Hospitality – and the National Park Service, who estimated the value of their assets at only $ 3 million."
Under the terms of the agreement, Delaware North transfers the trademarks and service marks to Aramark. And at the end of Aramark's contract, "these trademarks and service marks will be transferred, free of charge, to the National Park Service," according to an NPS statement.
The US government paid $ 3.84 million and Aramark $ 8.16 million to Delaware North, Gediman told the Times .
During the period in which the names were changed, some of the landmarks had only plastic tarpaulins with new names covering the historic signs.
Yosemite posted two photos on Twitter on Monday. The first showed a plastic sign that greeted visitors to the Half Dome Village. The second showed that the plastic had been removed and the original wooden sign welcomed the visitors to the Camp Curry.
The Ahwahnee was built in the 1920s to attract more affluent visitors to the park, according to the hotel's website. The striking building draws on a variety of architectural and design traditions, including Art Deco, Indians, the Middle East and Handicrafts.
The Wawona Hotel, named Big Trees Lodge since 2016, is also back to its original name. As it changed, former Wawona manager Monica Hubert told Siegler that "these names are all aligned with the tribes in Yosemite [Native American] … There are reasons why they actually bear those names."