Six Misconceptions and Facts at Yosemite

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MISCONCEPTION & FACT #1

Misconception: Delaware North forced the National Park Service to change the names of historic locations in Yosemite National Park due to the trademark dispute.

Truth: Delaware North offered the National Park Service and the new concessioner, Aramark, free use of these names while this matter is being settled in court. The National Park Service and Aramark declined this offer, but the offer still stands today.

MISCONCEPTION & FACT #2

Misconception: Delaware North has changed the names of historic locations at Yosemite.

Truth: The National Park Service seeks to change these names, no one else.

MISCONCEPTION & FACT #3

Misconception: Delaware North doesn’t own these names.

Truth: Most of these names were created decades ago by the Curry Company, the original Yosemite concessioner, which Delaware North was required by the National Park Service to purchase in 1993. The names have never been owned by anyone but a concessioner.

Scott Gediman, press spokesperson for the National Park Service, has publicly confirmed in numerous interviews that Delaware North owns these trademarks, and the National Park Service acknowledged this in an amendment to the 2014 concessions contract prospectus and has confirmed this in a letter to Delaware North as recently as December 31, 2015.

MISCONCEPTION & FACT #4

Misconception: Delaware North “quietly” registered other trademarks during its time as the concessioner at Yosemite.

Truth: The company registered trademarks for events such as Chef’s and Vintner’s Holidays and the name “Yosemite National Park” for limited use on T-shirts, mugs and pencils, again for sale in the park. As above, all of these trademarks were required to be left behind by Delaware North and purchased at fair value by the new concessioner, Aramark. It’s a normal and routine business practice for the purpose of protecting names from improper use, and there was a public record of each of the trademark applications and resulting registrations with no opposition from NPS at the time. The existence of the trademarked names was indicated on the Delaware North Yosemite website and on marketing materials, all of which were in full public view.

MISCONCEPTION & FACT #5

Misconception: Delaware North is out to, unfairly, make a quick buck.

Truth: Delaware North was highly regarded by the National Park Service, the local communities and environmental organizations during its 22 years in Yosemite. Over that period of time, Delaware North paid $115 million, in today’s dollars, for the property of the previous concessioner, took on $40 million in liabilities (including environmental concerns) and invested more than $80 million of its own capital into assets used to provide visitor services. Delaware North also paid more than $170 million in fees to the National Park Service, the majority of which was invested in assets used to provide visitor services. Over the term of the contract, Delaware North donated more than $2.5 million in cash to local charitable organizations and provided in-kind donations of equivalent value. We made money during our time as the concessioner, but we also went above and beyond what was required by our contract to benefit visitors and the surrounding communities.

MISCONCEPTION & FACT #6

Misconception: The taxpayer shouldn’t have to pay for these names.

Truth: Not one dollar is being sought from the taxpayer. The trademarks were to have been purchased by the new concessioner, Aramark. This is exactly what happened in 1993 when Delaware North became the concessioner and purchased the assets of the Curry Company. That contract requires that Delaware North leave all property used in the business behind and that the National Park Service require a successor concessioner such as Aramark to purchase the property at fair value.