Yosemite: What’s in a Name?

March 24, 2016

What’s in a name?

Ah, Yosemite. If you’ve never been to this historical landmark before, trust us when we say that it is just breathtaking! Back in 1890,

Congress declared Yosemite a national park and to this day millions of people from around the world travel to the park each year to visit sites like Half Dome, El Capitan, and to stay in places like Curry Village and the Ahwahnee Hotel. But in January, visitors couldn’t nd these historic places in the park because their names had changed! That left visitors very, very confused. What happened?

Delaware North, a company that helped the National Parks Service (NPS) manage parts of Yosemite like the Ahwahnee Hotel claims that the names of certain park sites belong to them. How is this possible? Well, Delaware North trademarked them. When a company trademarks something, it officially protects things like names of products so that no one else can use the same name to sell similar things. Since the NPS is now working with another company to manage the park, Delaware North is claiming that this new company should pay them for using the names that they trademarked such as “Curry Village” and “Ahwahnee Hotel”. The NPS refuses to pay Delaware.

North $51 million for using these names that have been around since they were established. A judge will now decide who owns these names. In the meantime, if you’re planning a visit to Yosemite, tell your parents not to look for the usual landmarks on the map — they have all changed!