Grand Canyon concessionaire seeks exclusive right to names popular at national park

A major concessionaire at Grand Canyon National Park wants the exclusive right to names like El Tovar and Phantom Ranch.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts applied for roughly 20 trademarks ahead of its contract for services at the South Rim expiring in December. The company based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, now is operating on a temporary, yearlong contract.

Experts say the intent of the trademark applications is clear: to stifle competition for an upcoming contract or be compensated for the value of the names.

The National Park Service says it will weigh in on the filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The agency wouldn't say whether it would oppose Xanterra's applications.

But going forward, the Park Service says it will include language in contracts that outlines how concessionaires can use names or logos associated with parks.