Iconic Yosemite Names Change Over Trademark Dispute

The names of Curry Village, Badger Pass, the Ahwahnee Hotel, Wawona Hotel, and Yosemite Lodge at the Falls will change as new park concessionaire takes reins.

The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite
Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel will be called Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Photo by Grant OrdelheideGrant Ordelheide

You may not recognize the names of some of Yosemite National Park’s legendary landmarks next time you visit.

The name changes come on the heels of a trademark dispute between the National Park Service and Delaware North, the company that operated Yosemite’s concessions from 1993 until it recently lost a $2 billion bid to renew its contract, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Curry Village will become Half Dome Village, the 1920s-built Ahwahnee Hotel will become the Majestic Yosemite Hotel and Yosemite Lodge at the Falls will become Yosemite Valley Lodge. Park officials told the Los Angeles Times that they decided to change the names to avoid issues when Aramark, the new park concessionaire, takes the reins on March 1, 2016.

Delaware North’s spokeswoman Lisa Cesaro told the Times that the company had to buy intellectual property from the previous concessionaire, including the lodges’ original names, in 1993 when it became the park’s concessionaire.

The National Park Service refutes that the names were part of the deal and is fighting to retain the names. Other establishments affected by the legal dispute include Badger Pass Ski Area, which will be Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area, and Wawona Hotel, which will become Big Trees Lodge. The name, Yosemite National Park, also is part of the dispute, but it will not change with the others, park spokesman Scott Gediman told the Los Angeles Times.

Chair lifts at Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area (formerly Badger Pass.) Photo by Kenny Karst courtesy of Yosemite/Mariposa County
Badger Pass Ski Area name will change to Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area. Photo by Kenny Karst courtesy of Yosemite/Mariposa CountyPhoto by Kenny Karst courtesy of Yosemite/Mariposa County