Yosemite’s Head of Concessions Hits Golf Balls Into Meadow, Gets Canned

It can’t be easy running concessions for a national park as busy as Yosemite, which, frankly, is why the NPS contracts out concessions. But few longtime Yosemite visitors have a lot of love for concessionaires at the park, currently Aramark, who took over the job from Delaware North. Delaware North, you may remember, was the company that famously trademarked longtime names in Yosemite Valley, forcing anodyne name changes of popular places like the Ahwahnee Hotel, Curry Village, etc.

Aramark hasn’t tried that yet, but they’ve recently sent another message to the Yosemite community that isn’t going to earn many fans. Michael Grisar, vice president of operations at Yosemite, is now the former VP and is no longer employed by Aramark after filming himself hitting golf balls in the Ahwahnee Meadow, a gorgeous green expanse framed by Half Dome in the distance.

The meadow is protected after years of trampling by visitors. Driving golf balls into the meadow means Grisar was either leaving them there, littering balls made of plastic and rubber, or he was walking into the off-limits meadow to retrieve the balls, also a no-no. What’s worse, he posted the videos to the internet.

“We are aware of the video and have spoken with the individual, who has apologized and acknowledges using poor judgment,” said Aramark spokesperson David Freireich. We have great respect for Yosemite National Park and expect all of our employees to uphold the rules and regulations that are in place to preserve and protect it.”

It should be noted that littering of any kind is abhorrent in a place like Yosemite Valley, especially by the head of a company responsible for food service, which obviously means dealing with huge volumes of packaging and food prep waste. Not a good look.

Also, man, straighten that back at address, open the chest up to the target, and keep that lead arm closer to your hip. If you’re going to lose a job over a golf video, at least have a better swing.

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