This month a number of iconic lodgings and sites in and around Yosemite National Park change their names because of a trademark dispute with the old concessionaire who lost their bid to manage the sites moving forward. According to Delaware North, the former long time manager of the Yosemite concessions, they purchased the IP as part of their original agreement in 1993.
Now these are valuable assets to be sure. Ahwahnee, Curry Village and others are as iconic to national park visitors as are Apple and the Grateful Dead to their devotees. However, we’d argue that their value is going to be hard to monetize outside the Yosemite context. A Curry Village fast food franchise will not evoke tent cabins and soaring palisades.
The chance of reclaiming these names notwithstanding, the new concessionaire and the NPS seems to have missed a chance to re-name and rebrand these spots with something sufficiently more fitting to the area and its history. Come on, the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Really?
Where's the romance, the history, the specialness? Well, it is marginally better than “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”