Over 15,000 people have signed a petition against a new Starbucks in Yosemite, a national park where over four million people visit every year.
President Teddy Roosevelt said Yosemite was “a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.” And with plenty of tourist dollars.
Starbucks is working with Yosemite Hospitality to bring a food court called Basecamp Eatery to the Valley Lodge.
“We are trying to enhance the visitor experience,” said Yosemite Hospitality marketing manager Lisa Cesaro. “And this is just one of the many improvements we will be making in the coming years.”
A job listing for Starbucks Store Manager — Yosemite is currently live on Indeed. Some worry this will lead to more big commercial companies moving into Yosemite.
“It is an international brand, and we have a lot of our visitors who are international travelers,” Cesaro said.
So far, over 15,000 people have signed a Change.org petition aimed at stopping Starbucks from bringing its goods and services to the park.
The mission statement reads, in part: “The opening of a Starbucks in Yosemite Valley opens the door to further undue development. The Park will lose its essence, making it hardly distinguishable from a chaotic and bustling commercial city.”
Yosemite regulars aren’t happy about the plan. “The last thing I want to see is garbage and plastic at such a beautiful place,” writes Amie on the petition. “Money is not everything. You can not replace nature.”
Yosemite Hospitality is aware of the Change.org petition, but is still moving forward with its plans this spring.