After a legal dispute in 2015 caused Yosemite National Park to rename many of the park’s most popular landmarks, signs were covered up. Programs were rewritten. The Ahwahnee Hotel became The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, the Curry Village became Half Dome Village, and Badger Pass Ski Area was renamed Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.

This week, the lengthy legal battle between the National Park Service and Delaware North, the former concessionaire for Yosemite, ended in a $12 million dollar settlement, and these well-known historic sites gained use of their original names, many going back to the park’s early history nearly a century ago.

Yosemite National Park Landmarks Gain Back Naming Rights Post-Lawsuit

ahwahnee hotel in yosemite national park

Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel. The landmark was renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel for the duration of the lawsuit.

The name change for many of these sites in the park occurred around September of 2015, when the park’s former concessions partner, Delaware North, filed suit for ownership of those names. The suit claims that since the contract in 1993, the company has gained the trademark ownership of the original names over the course of their tenure. Since the suit started, temporary signs have gone up with new names for a number of the sites, while park visitors continued referencing sites by their original names.

The NPS, according to a press release from the park, paid a portion of the 12 million dollars laid out in the settlement, while Aramark — the new concessionaire — paid the rest, gaining the trademarks for those names for the duration of their contract. The settlement also assured the trademarks for these names will be transferred back to Yosemite National Park after the contract with Aramark ends.

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson

Kevin is the Assistant Editor for The Dyrt, with bylines in National Geographic Traveler and Atlas Obscura. Although originally from the swamps of Washington, D.C., he's now based in the trees of Portland. He's been interested in geography and travel since seeing his first map as a kid, and is now working toward seeing it all in person. You can find him exploring the coastal beaches or a record store in his free time.