Business

Vendor battling over Yosemite trademarks keeps deal with Sequoia park

The Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park has more than 100 guest rooms, and will continue to be run by Delaware North. A park spokesman said the National Park Service said it is looking at options to change the name of Wuksachi Lodge for marketing reasons.
The Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park has more than 100 guest rooms, and will continue to be run by Delaware North. A park spokesman said the National Park Service said it is looking at options to change the name of Wuksachi Lodge for marketing reasons. Delaware North

The company that’s entangled in a lawsuit over trademarked Yosemite names will continue its relationship with the National Park Service at Sequoia National Park.

Delaware North Parks & Resorts at Sequoia Inc. got a 10-year renewal of its concessions contract that it first won in 1997. The concessionaire, a subsidiary of Delaware North, will continue to manage hotels, restaurants, stores and other services in the Sequoia park, including the Wuksachi Lodge, Lodgepole Village and Bearpaw High Sierra Camp.

Delaware North’s contract raised eyebrows since the National Park Service is still in court with the concessionaire in a dispute over the Yosemite National Park deal.

In July 2015, the concessions contract for Yosemite National Park was not renewed with Delaware North, and instead given to a subsidiary of Aramark.

Delaware North took the park service to court when Aramark did not purchase trademarked names such as The Ahwahnee hotel, which has since been renamed The Majestic Yosemite Hotel.

Other historic Yosemite names also were changed, including Curry Village, now Half Dome Village, and the Wawona Hotel, which is now Big Trees Lodge. The sudden rebranding sparked controversy and raised questions about how trademarks at other parks will be treated.

The park service appears to have taken steps to prevent the issue from arising again.

“The new contract includes a license agreement to protect existing names at Sequoia,” park service spokeswoman Dana Dierkes said.

At Sequoia, Wuksachi Lodge was trademarked by Delaware North in 2002. The National Park Service did not try to get possession of any trademarks during negotiations, said Julie Wright, a spokeswoman for Delaware North.

Regardless, the National Park Service said it is now actively monitoring new trademarks, and looking at options to change the name of Wuksachi Lodge for marketing reasons, according to Craig Dalby, chief of public information at Sequoia National Park.

The gross revenue for the subsidiary at Sequoia was about $11.2 million in 2015, Dalby said. No information regarding the value of the contract is available until it is finalized.

Delaware North intends to build a deck off the Wuksachi Lodge’s main building as part of its investment in the new contract, according to the company.

Other subsidiaries of Delaware North operate concessions at Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Shenandoah and Kings Canyon national parks.

Delaware North has 14 days to sign the Sequoia contract before it goes through Congress and is returned to the National Park Service’s regional office for final signatures. It is expected to go into effect Nov. 1.

Sydney Maki: 559-441-6141, @symmaki

  Comments