In an unexpected move Vail Resorts has offered to purchase the Park City Mountain Resort base area and the parking lots. The move comes just days an important scheduled court date in a lawsuit between PCMR and Talisker Land Holdings, LLC.

The offer was made in a five-page letter from Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz to PCMR CEO John Cumming.

In the letter Katz said Vail Resorts would pay “fair market value for any of the assets you have that would be helpful to us in operating the resort.” The letter says Vail Resorts and Powdr Corp. could retain independent appraisers to reach a price.

“While each situation is unique, there have been countless appraisals performed on land and parking facilities at the base of ski resorts. If you were willing to sell those assets, we are confident we can reach a fair price for both parties and ensure the continued smooth operation of the resort,” Katz wrote.

Katz goes on to say, “Everyone at Vail Resorts is very cognizant of how difficult this has been for PCMR, its employees, its guests, its partners and the Park City community. But, if PCMR should lose its lease, PCMR alone needs to take responsibility for that outcome.”

Here are some more highlights from the letter:

  • Land: “There seems to be a concern in the community that if you lose your lease, you could use your base lands to block access to the ski mountain through that portal. Given that much of the Town’s planning and investment has relied on that portal, we think it’s important to let folks know that’s not going to happen. Candidly, we are not sure why you would ever consider doing that. Even if you lose your lease to the mountain, you have a very valuable piece of property. But its value comes from the access it allows to the ski mountain,” the letter said.
  • Employees: “More important than almost anything else is how any of this may impact the PCMR employees. Obviously, this is PCMR’s responsibility. However, should PCMR lose its lease to the mountain, we want to make it clear that our Company is willing to hire substantially all of the PCMR employees who are involved with running the resort,”

In response to the letter John Cumming, the CEO of resort parent Powdr Corp., said in a statement, “We have repeatedly made it clear to Vail that PCMR is interested in exploring all possible solutions that will preserve the independence of PCMR as the nation’s premier family ski resort. What we won’t agree to is a Vail takeover. Vail’s domination of the ski market in Summit County would be bad for our community, bad for our guests, and bad for our employees. If Vail and Talisker are interested in having a public discussion about their negotiation strategy, they should be willing to disclose documents to the public. PCMR has sought to make this information public, including Talisker’s takeover proposal, only to have such requests blocked by Vail and Talisker in court. People should not be swayed by Rob’s attempt to try the merits of this case in the press. We will present our arguments to the court beginning next week.”

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