California’s Yosemite Valley brings in four million visitors each year, making it a prime target for one of America’s biggest coffee chains, Starbucks. Yosemite Hospitality is planning on renovating the food court, which it calls Basecamp Eatery. And the Fresno Bee recently learned that Yosemite Hospitality is working with the coffee company to include Starbucks in the food court.
“We are trying to enhance the visitor experience,” says Yosemite Hospitality marketing manager Lisa Cesaro. “And this is just one of the many improvements we will be making in the coming years.”
Yosemite lovers feel as though Starbucks will clash with the the natural vibe and free spirit of the park. Over 11,000 people have now signed a Change.org petition in order to at stop Starbucks from bringing its products and services to the park.
An excerpt of the mission statement reads: “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.”
But the comments coming from fans of the Yosemite, show that they are angry and troubled by the news: “The last thing I want to see is garbage and plastic at such a beautiful place,” writes one individual named Amie. “Money is not everything. You can not replace Nature.”
Another petition-signer named Luke notes: “Their coffee is trash and apparently so is their respect for the environment.”
Yosemite Hospitality is moving forward with it’s plans despite the petition, and plans to bring Starbucks into the park this spring.