A proposal to build a branch of the popular Starbucks coffee chain in Yosemite National park is causing a stir in the US, with a petition against the plans acquiring over 15,000 signatures.
The petition titled 'Stop Starbucks in Yosemite' posted by 'Concerned Citizen' is addressed to the Yosemite National Park Administration and underlines a concern for the negative impact of multinational corporations taking hold of the valley and diminishing its value as an area of historical and cultural significance.
'Multinational corporations have no place in our National Parks,' the petition states.'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.'
'If the Park is to bring in another outside contractor, why is it not fulfilling its commitment to Gateway Communities? Let's consider local establishments.'
Starbucks is working in conjunction with Yosemite Hospitality to establish a food court named 'Basecamp Eatery' in the Park, which attracted over 5 million visitors in 2016. 'We are trying to enhance the visitor experience,' Yosemite Hospitality marketing manager Lisa Cesaro told the Fresno Bee, 'and this is just one of the many improvements we will be making in the coming years.'
Despite the petition, the firm expects to continue the development this spring.
'[Starbucks] is an international brand, and we have a lot of our visitors who are international travelers," Cesaro said.