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No Foreign Concessions at Yosemite, Park Service Chief Urges

October 24, 1990

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) _ The National Park Service director has urged the chief of MCA Inc. to sell its food and lodging concession in Yosemite National Park before MCA is acquired by a Japanese company.

Park Service Director James Ridenour told MCA Chairman Lew Wasserman that many park lovers are concerned that a takeover of MCA by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. would put the concession in foreign hands.

Ridenour suggested in a telephone call last week that MCA sell the concession to a non-profit or other group or to the Park Service itself, the Los Angeles Times reported in today’s editions.

″If the price is right, the government would be interested,″ said Park Service spokesman George Berklacy.

MCA owns the Yosemite Park & Curry Co., which operates lodgings, restaurants and stores in Yosemite under a contract that expires in 1993.

Early today, three of the four roads into Yosemite were closed by rockslides after a strong earthquake.

Matsushita and MCA are negotiating a possible purchase of MCA, which also owns Universal Studios, record companies, a film library and a television station.

″What is driving this is these national parks are America’s national treasures, and while foreign owners have the right to invest in the United States, that doesn’t mean they should be buying up all of America,″ said Steven Goldstein, spokesman for Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan, who presides over the National Park Service.

″People identify Yosemite ... with mom and apple pie,″ Goldstein said.

Wasserman did not react immediately to the proposal, Goldstein said.

Officials with Matsushita, MCA and the Curry Co. refused to comment on the proposal.

Estimates of Curry Co. holdings in the park range between $100 million and $200 million.

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