Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vancouver Park Board wants StanleyPark.com

It's another sign of how valuable good domain names are, and the lengths that people will go to take them.

Stanley Park is a famous park in the City of Vancouver, and the domain is owned by a man who operates a horse drawn carriage business in the park. He bought the domain back in 1997, and the park board has previously tried to get the name from him.

Now his lease to operate in the park is up, and the question is whether the domain issue will affect the park's decision to renew his lease. The park board seems to make light of the domain issue, but read the article and judge for yourself.

O'Neil, president of AAA Horse & Carriage in Stanley Park Ltd., has operated his popular business in the park since 1985. His stable of 18 horses pulls six carriages around the park eight months a year, attracting more than 30,000 passengers annually.

His business employs 24 people in the peak summer season, generates close to $1 million in annual revenue, and paid the park board about $41,000 in rent last year.

O'Neil said the domain name is a vital marketing tool for the company -- potentially worth millions of dollars -- and he doesn't want to give it up.

"It's short and sweet, and we use it to tell the story of the park," he said. "It's not like I've been running a porn site out of it."

Conflict over the domain name kicked into high gear in November 2005 when the park board sent O'Neil a letter asking him to relinquish control of www.stanleypark.com. The letter also noted his lease was up for renewal in 2008.

Link to full article:


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