The recent renaming of many of the facilities at Yosemite National Park is drawing considerable criticism from current and former Valley climbers, residents and visitors.
“It’s a shame when financial interests are able to trump the importance of cultural heritage in our own national parks,” Colby Brokvist, general manager of Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, wrote in an email.
“I think that it’s terrible that DNCY [the Buffalo, New York-based concessionaire Delaware North Corporation Parks & Resorts at Yosemite Inc.] feels that they own the name of something that is part of our history,” added Jacob Schmitz, a former long-time resident of the Valley. “I don’t understand how a corporation that ran the park for 23 years can copyright a name that the public and the NPS has been using for over 100.”
Schmitz was speaking in a generic sense, not singling out one name in particular. Some of the names for man-made facilities and sites in the park have been used even longer. Camp Curry was started, for example, in 1899. That name was later changed to Curry Village. The park’s natural features, like Half Dome, are not affected by the concessionaire change; although their names were changed earlier in the history of the Valley by some of the first European visitors to the Valley. (For example, “Tis-sa-ack” is the original Ahwahneechee name for Half Dome.)
The recent name changes are a result of the March 1 concessionaire change.
IMAGE: The National Historic Landmark previously known as The Ahwahnee, a name that has been in use since 1927. Soon after midnight on March 1, 2016—when the Park’s concession holder changed from DNCY to Aramark—this location was renamed The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. [Photo] Julia Reardin