Breaking News: Court Rules in Favor of Talisker and Vail Resorts Over Park City Mountain Resort

Breaking News: Court Rules in Favor of Talisker and Vail Resorts Over Park City Mountain Resort

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Breaking News: Court Rules in Favor of Talisker and Vail Resorts Over Park City Mountain Resort

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A judge has ruled in favor of Talisker Holdings and Vail Resorts in the lawsuit regarding Park City Mountain Resort’s lease. This essentially means that Vail Resorts has won the rights to more than two-thirds of the land beneath Utah’s most popular ski area. Needless to say, this an enormous win for Talisker Holdings and Vail Resorts.

In the lawsuit, Talisker Holdings claimed that Park City Mountain Resort missed the deadline to renew its lease back in 2011. PCMR claimed it was an “honest mistake” and that the ski resort had been operating on the belief they were renewing their lease, making improvements to the property and talking about long-term goals.

“Talisker looks forward to bringing in Vail Resorts as its new tenant and operator of the terrain,” Talisker attorney John Lund said in a statement. “It’s now time for Park City Mountain Resort to move on and work out a realistic solution for access to the ski terrain from Park City.”

The Denver Post had this to say about todays ruling.

“Park City Mountain Resort owner Powdr Corp. will go down in history as captaining the ski industry’s most costly clerical error: a days-late filing to renew their decades-old, sweetheart lease could forever change their flagship ski area, which has seen Powdr invest more than $100 million.”

Vail Resorts Statement:

“Vail Resorts, Inc. announced that the Company is very pleased with the ruling today by the Third Judicial District Court of Summit County, Utah in Talisker’s favor on all matters relating to the expiration of the Park City Mountain Resort lease.”

Statement on PCMR from John D. Cumming, Chief Executive Officer of Powdr:

We respect the Court’s decision but at the end of the day it doesn’t change the fact that Vail and PCMR can and must resolve this dispute. For that to happen, both parties will need to sit down at the table, negotiate in good faith, and come to a rational agreement. We are committed to doing exactly that, which is why we have made repeated offers to buy or lease the disputed property for an amount far in excess of market value. But let me be clear: we will not walk away and allow a Vail takeover.

To date, there has been no response to these offers. By picking up where Jack Bistricer and Talisker left off in demanding we sell PCMR at terms they dictate, Vail is demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of what this litigation could yield for them. That may explain their willingness to acquire the Canyons at a premium and its corresponding desire to get PCMR on the cheap, but it does not change the basic facts at issue: even if Vail ultimately prevails in this litigation, it cannot possibly operate a resort on the leased property. They do not own the adjacent lands and facilities that are essential for ski operations to take place. And they are not for sale.

Our community has become one of the world’s premier ski destinations because each of our three resorts – PCMR, Canyons, and Deer Valley – offers a unique ski experience, and because we compete with each other for guests. A Vail takeover would diminish what we collectively offer to guests. They may boast of their domination of other communities but that flies in the face of what has made Park City so successful.

We know this dispute has created uncertainty and tension within Park City. We remain hopeful that a rational resolution can be made. In the meantime, we are going to continue to do what we’ve done for the past 50 years: focus on delivering the best possible guest experience, make continued investments like Woodward Park City, and be a responsible part of a community that makes Park City an incredible place to work and live.

Statement on litigation from Alan L. Sullivan of Snell & Wilmer:

Park City Mountain Resort is disappointed that the Third District Court for Summit County ruled in favor of Talisker and Vail on claims related to the leases, right of first refusal and ban on sale. While we are respectful of the Court, we believe there are significant factual disputes which require a trial and at the appropriate time we intend to appeal these rulings. We have always anticipated a lengthy legal process to resolve this litigation.  We are committed to ensuring that PCMR has its day in court so it can show that it acted responsibly and in good faith and that its right to use the lands at issue has been extended.

In the meantime, we expect that PCMR will operate business as usual for the 2014-15 season. We believe that no action affecting the operation of the Resort can occur until the appeals are completed, which is likely to take at least another year. Vail’s motion for partial summary judgment on their unlawful detainer counterclaim, which requests the eviction of PCMR from the upper slopes of the mountain, puts the cart before the horse: the litigation must be allowed to reach its conclusion first. The Court has scheduled a hearing on the unlawful detainer counterclaim for June 19.

 

 

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