The battle over the hotel, restaurant and other concessions at California's Yosemite National Park is apparently over.
When Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., took over MCA Inc., for $6.6 billion last week, it not only gained Universal Studios and MCA Records, it also acquired Yosemite Park & Curry Co., which runs hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and a gas station inside the central Sierra Nevada park. Included are the Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Lodge and the historic tent cabins.That set off a flurry of criticism about foreign ownership of part of one more of America's jewels. Many were concerned that the owners of the historic facilities would be half a world away.
The Interior Department said Tuesday the concessions will be turned over to a private foundation in 1993 for $49.5 million, about half their estimated value.
Although spokesmen for MCA and the National Park Service also said the deal had been struck, there seemed to be some confusion at Matsushita. Kyodo News Service in Tokyo quoted a company official as saying the properties will be handed over to the National Park Foundation in 1993, at the end of the current 30-year contract period. But as of Wednesday afternoon, Matsushita was not prepared to officially announce the deal.
The maker of Panasonic, Technics and other brand-name electronics has been under heavy pressure from the Interior Department to let go of MCA's Yosemite concessions since the takeover.