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Re: Yosemite National Park Announces that the 2019 Half Dome Preseason Lottery will be Delayed

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avatar Yosemite National Park Announces that the 2019 Half Dome Preseason Lottery will be Delayed
February 27, 2019 12:48PM
Yosemite National Park announces that the 2019 preseason lottery for Half Dome permits will be delayed this year due to a transition to a new contracted provider. The preseason lottery typically opens on March 1. For the latest information on the status of the Half Dome preseason lottery, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm. No date is yet determined on when the preseason lottery will open.

All hikers are required to have permits to ascend the subdome steps and the Half Dome cables seven days a week when the cables are up. Park Rangers install the Half Dome cables each spring and take them down each fall, based on weather and trail conditions. The cables are typically up from late May to early October.

All day use hiking permits are distributed by lottery via Recreation.gov, with the preseason lottery in the spring and daily lotteries during the hiking season. During the preseason lottery, 225 permits are available for each day that the cables are up. To include Half Dome as part of an overnight wilderness trip please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdwildpermits.htm.

All visitors planning to apply for permits to climb the Half Dome Cables are strongly encouraged to thoroughly read all information posted on Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome page and the “Cables on Half Dome” page managed by Recreation.gov, https://www.recreation.gov/permits/234652, as there have been some new changes to the application process. The most accurate information will be posted on both the Yosemite National Park webpage and on Recreation.gov.
Quote
eeek
Yosemite National Park announces that the 2019 preseason lottery for Half Dome permits will be delayed this year due to a transition to a new contracted provider. The preseason lottery typically opens on March 1. For the latest information on the status of the Half Dome preseason lottery, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm. No date is yet determined on when the preseason lottery will open.

All hikers are required to have permits to ascend the subdome steps and the Half Dome cables seven days a week when the cables are up. Park Rangers install the Half Dome cables each spring and take them down each fall, based on weather and trail conditions. The cables are typically up from late May to early October.

All day use hiking permits are distributed by lottery via Recreation.gov, with the preseason lottery in the spring and daily lotteries during the hiking season. During the preseason lottery, 225 permits are available for each day that the cables are up. To include Half Dome as part of an overnight wilderness trip please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdwildpermits.htm.

All visitors planning to apply for permits to climb the Half Dome Cables are strongly encouraged to thoroughly read all information posted on Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome page and the “Cables on Half Dome” page managed by Recreation.gov, https://www.recreation.gov/permits/234652, as there have been some new changes to the application process. The most accurate information will be posted on both the Yosemite National Park webpage and on Recreation.gov.

I wonder if this is the same "contracted provider" that now runs the campground reservations for Yosemite Valley. What a complete incompetent company they are. For over month now they show "walk in only" for numerous sites in Lower Pines in the second half of May. They admit that there is a problem with the reservation system. I called them the other day and they are still "working on it". Really? What incompetent offshore company was the Park Service suckered into this time?. Reminds me of when the Park Service dumped Camp Curry and Co. for that East coast company that snuck by the Park Service the patenting of classic names like the Awahnee Hotel. (Actually that might have been the second company twice removed form Curry). After the Park Service gave the contract to the company that took over from Curry and Company prices skyrocketed and service went in the tank. As I remember the Sierra Club was complaining that Curry didn't kick back enough money to the Park Service so they put the contract up for bid. …. OK, I've done my venting for now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/2019 06:13PM by mtn man.
avatar Re: Yosemite National Park Announces that the 2019 Half Dome Preseason Lottery will be Delayed
March 01, 2019 04:15PM
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mtn man
I wonder if this is the same "contracted provider" that now runs the campground reservations for Yosemite Valley.

It is.
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mtn man
Reminds me of when the Park Service dumped Camp Curry and Co. for that East coast company that snuck by the Park Service the patenting of classic names like the Awahnee Hotel..
Not a big fan of Aramark either...Delaware North was much the better steward of Yosemite.

However, nobody "snuck" the patenting of the famous park names past anyone. Much like Disney, a patent / copyright (or whatever the lawyers call it), is required by law to protect the park's name merchandise (Ahwahnee, Curry, Badger, etc).
Previously, the park service specifically required transferring the name patent as part of the bid...was part of the contract. Delaware North was required way back then to pay millions for it. On the latest bid, when Aramark took over 2+ years ago, the park service somehow omitted this important patent transfer clause, leaving Delaware North, (after being forced to pay for it when it was their turn), now still holding the required patents, of which Aramark refuses to pay.
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markskor
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mtn man
Reminds me of when the Park Service dumped Camp Curry and Co. for that East coast company that snuck by the Park Service the patenting of classic names like the Awahnee Hotel..
Not a big fan of Aramark either...Delaware North was much the better steward of Yosemite.

However, nobody "snuck" the patenting of the famous park names past anyone. Much like Disney, a patent / copyright (or whatever the lawyers call it), is required by law to protect the park's name merchandise (Ahwahnee, Curry, Badger, etc).
Previously, the park service specifically required transferring the name patent as part of the bid...was part of the contract. Delaware North was required way back then to pay millions for it. On the latest bid, when Aramark took over 2+ years ago, the park service somehow omitted this important patent transfer clause, leaving Delaware North, (after being forced to pay for it when it was their turn), now still holding the required patents, of which Aramark refuses to pay.

Interesting. Thanks for the clarification. Anyways the reservation system for Valley campgrounds has been screwed up for a month+ now and now the permit process is also in limbo. Here's the reservation site's own admission of the problem:

"Due to errors with existing reservations, sites in this campground currently appear available as walk-up or first come, first served and are temporarily unavailable for advanced reservations between Feb.14 though May 21. Sites will become available to reserve within their respective open periods as soon as possible. We are working quickly to resolve this issue and apologize for the inconvenience".

I wonder what their definitions of "as soon as possible" and "working quickly" are?
(Warning: the following is more legalese in plain English than anything else, so if this isn't your cup of tea, skip this post).

Markshor is sort of right, but got some of the details wrong. DNC didn't patent anything. Patents protect inventions and are limited in duration to 20 years (plus sometimes extensions for Patent Office or FDA delays) - not relevant to DNC's (or now Aramark's) operations in Yosemite.

What DNC did was register trademarks on some famous place names in Yosemite. It doesn't cost a lot of money to register or renew a trademark - when you're doing tens of millions of dollars a year like DNC was doing in Yosemite, TM registration and maintenance is a drop in the bucket. And unlike patents, trademarks can theoretically be renewed forever, as long as the goods or services with which the mark is associated are still being sold/provided and the owner pays the renewal fee every 10 years or so. Hence, for example, in 2002 DNC registered "The Ahwahnee" in connection with "non-electric iron candelabras; dishes; namely cups, plates, and bowls; blanket throws; hats, golf shirts, denim shirts", and DNC asserts it's also the owner of a much earlier registration of "The Ahwahnee" in connection with "hotel and restaurant services".

Why would DNC have done this? As Markshor notes, TM registration allowed DNC to prevent others from selling, say, t-shirts that said "The Ahwahnee" on them.

But when it comes to operating hotels within the park, no one's going to operate another hotel called the Ahwahnee, or Yosemite Lodge, or the Wawana Hotel, because such things are controlled by the Park Service. So the value of TM registration there is minimal. And this points to the obvious problem with DNC's assertion of ownership rights for those marks: DNC doesn't actually own the Ahwahnee Hotel, or Yosemite Lodge, or the Wawona Hotel, and the Patent & Trademark Office should never have allowed DNC to register those marks in its own name.

There is now a lawsuit going on, in the Court of Federal Claims, in which DNC asserts that when it took over the concession at Yosemite in the late 1980's it gained ownership of the existing trademarks, and that it is the rightful owner of the marks it subsequently registered, and that those marks are worth over $60 million, and that either the NPS or Aramark needs to compensate it for that. Yeahright. If ever there was an example of the maxim "location, location, location", this it. No one's going to stay at a hotel in Peoria just because it's named the Yosemite Lodge, and people would still stay at the Yosemite Lodge in Yosemite Valley even it were to be renamed, say, The Mosquito Lodge, because it's in the Valley and there are limited number of room available there.

The lawsuit is taking its time; filed in 2015, discovery is now only set to close in September 2019. Who knows if and when this will ever go to trial.

Like many people in this forum, I think DNC did a better job running concessions that Aramark has; and even if we grant that Aramark's tenure has been beset by a cancelled ski season followed by record snow in 2016-2017, resulting in the late or non-opening of some areas in summer 2017, and then horrible fires in the summer of 2018, it doesn't seem like Aramark, a company previously known for running concessions at sports venues, is really interested in getting this national park concession thing right.

On the other hand, DNC's assertion of ownership over marks it's not entitled to has really turned me off to DNC. If it would drop this stupid lawsuit, I'd write a letter to the NPS urging that Aramark's contract not be renewed and that the contract be given back to DNC.
What I understood is that the contract the park service had with DNC specified that DNC would legally defend the trademarks that the park service owns. So if someone printed a t-shirt that said Ahwanee Hotel without a license/permission, it was the park service's trademark that was violated but DNC's liability to pay for lawyers to sue. When that contract ended, DNC claimed that this clause to defend the trademarks transferred ownership of the trademarks to them. Apparently there is precedent in the law for such claims of ownership of trademarks after being required to defend them.



- Billy Joel
Date: March 5, 2019
Yosemite National Park announces that the 2019 preseason lottery for Half Dome permits will open at 7:00 am PDT on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. For the latest information on the Half Dome preseason lottery, please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdpermits.htm.

All hikers are required to have permits to ascend the subdome steps and the Half Dome cables seven days a week when the cables are up. Park Rangers install the Half Dome cables each spring and take them down each fall, based on weather and trail conditions. The cables are typically up from late May to early October.

All day use hiking permits are distributed by lottery via Recreation.gov, with the preseason lottery in the spring and daily lotteries during the hiking season. During the preseason lottery, 225 permits are available for each day that the cables are up. To include Half Dome as part of an overnight wilderness trip please visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/hdwildpermits.htm.
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