The outgoing concessionaire company for Yosemite National Park is leaving tomorrow as a legal dispute continues between itself and the National Park Service (NPS).
Yosemite Hospitality LLC, the new concessionaire and a subsidiary of Aramark, will begin its 15-year contract to provide lodging, retail, recreational services, and food to over four million annual visitors to Yosemite. Yosemite Hospitality LLC was selected to be the park’s new primary concessionaire in June 2015, following a competitive bid process.
“This is a new era in Yosemite and we are very excited to welcome Yosemite Hospitality LLC as the new primary concessioner in Yosemite National Park,” stated park Superintendent Don Neubacher. “We would like to thank Delaware North Companies for their exceptional service to Yosemite’s visitors over the course of their contract in Yosemite National Park.”
The National Park Service continues to work very closely with Delaware North Parks and Resorts at Yosemite and Yosemite Hospitality LLC to ensure a seamless transition for park visitors. There should be very minimal, if any, disruption to services within the park as the concession contract transition occurs. There are many moving parts in such a large concession operation and the park kindly requests patience from visitors should they encounter any disruption during this unprecedented transition.
The change takes place as Delaware North continues to claim the NPS owes it $51 million for the names “Yosemite National Park,” as well as several locations within its boundaries such as The Ahwahnee Hotel and Wawona Hotel.
Scott Gediman, Yosemite spokesman, said as the transition takes place, beginning at midnight Monday into Tuesday, signs will be covered up with new names like “The Majestic Yosemite Hotel” for the former Ahwahnee to avoid legal confrontation with Delaware North.
The NPS is also selling off all t-shirts, coffee mugs, and any other merchandise with the name “Yosemite National Park” on it, as it would come into violation of Delaware North’s ownership over the names.
Yosemite National Park celebrated its 125th Anniversary last year. The park welcomes over four million visitors from all over the world each year and serves as a strong economic engine for the region and local communities. Yosemite National Park generates $535 million in economic benefit to the local region and directly supports 6,261. The park is home to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and iconic rock formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. The park also features approximately 90 different species of mammals and over 1500 species of flowering plants.