A company in New York claims that it owns the trademark rights to “Yosemite National Park” and wants $50 million to give it up. This is not a joke. It’s actually happening. The Park Service isn’t yet giving in on this, but it is caving on a bunch of other names, including the Ahwahnee Hotel:
On March 1, the famed Ahwahnee — a name affixed to countless trail guides and family memories — will become the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. And Curry Village, a collection of cabins near the center of the park that has carried the same name since the 1800s, will become Half Dome Village, park spokesman Scott Gediman said Thursday.
….Also affected will be: Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, becoming Yosemite Valley Lodge. Wawona Hotel, becoming Big Trees Lodge. Badger Pass Ski Area, becoming Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area.
Coming soon: Yellowstone National Park will be renamed Majestic Geysers Park. Redwood National Park will become Incredible Trees Park. And Everglades National Park will become Big Swampy Park.
UPDATE: This is probably not actually as outrageous as I thought. More here.