Yosemite landmarks to get names back after suit is settled

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A company that lost its contract to run Yosemite National Park's hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities has settled a lawsuit with the National Park Service and the park's new concession operator over rights to the names of famous park landmarks, officials announced Monday.

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The National Park Service said the settlement with Delaware North allows the park to restore the previous names of some properties at Yosemite, including the Ahwahnee Hotel, which is now called the Majestic Yosemite Hotel.

Other landmarks that can get their old names back include Curry Village and the Wawona Hotel, which were respectively renamed during the lawsuit to Half Dome Village and Big Trees Lodge.

"These are iconic names, and it's very exciting for us to restore them to these buildings," Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said.

Gediman said the name change is effective immediately but that it will take several weeks to put back the historic names on websites, restaurant menus, directories and many other things.

The Park Service in 2015 awarded Aramark a 15-year contract. Shortly after, New York-based Delaware North filed a lawsuit saying it owned the trademarked names of the Ahwahnee Hotel, the Wawona Hotel, Curry Village and several other properties.

Delaware North ran the park's concessions from 1993 to 2015.

As part of the settlement, Aramark will pay Delaware North $8.16 million and the government $3.84 million for the names and several logos, Gediman said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Aramark will own the names and logos for the duration until the company's contract expires in 2031, when ownership will go back to the government.

"We heard loud and clear from the public that they wanted these names back, and this settlement concludes a lengthy lawsuit that could have continue for years," Gediman said.