The worldwide coffee giant proudly announced this month the opening of the coffee shop at Yosemite National Park in California and touted it as a model of green energy design. But the store has raised the ire of park purists.
For the first time, a Starbucks has opened within a U.S. national park, according to the worldwide coffee giant.
The worldwide coffee giant proudly announced earlier this month the opening of the coffee shop at Yosemite National Park in California and touted it as a model of green energy design.
But the controversial project has raised the ire of park purists. So far more than 25,000 people have signed an online petition voicing their opposition to the plan.
“Multinational corporations have no place in our National Parks,” according to the petition on change.org. “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.”
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The cafe will be located in a recently remodeled food court inside the Yosemite Valley Lodge, according to a news statement released by the Seattle-based coffee company.
In an effort to be “respectful to the park,” the redesign features the space’s original vaulted ceilings, and exposed beams as well as reclaimed and rediscovered redwood from Northern California, Starbucks said.
There’s no sign on the outside, and it’s “just the warm glow from floor-to-ceiling windows that beckon visitors like a campfire amongst the towering ponderosa pines and sequoias,” the statement says.
The project, which is a collaboration between the U.S. National Park Service and Aramark, which is licensing the Starbucks brand and products, was defended to NBC News by Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman.
“It’s an integral part of the visitor experience, to have food and drink that is accessible, of good quality and at a reasonable price. We want to make sure the visitors have that,” he said.
Opponents say the park should have sought public input on the decision and considered using a local coffee company instead of Starbucks.