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Utah Court Sides With Vail Resorts Over Park City Land Dispute


By: TransWorld Business
May 27, 2014


Frank April at Park City Mountain Resort. Photo: Rob Mathis/TW SNOW

In a Utah District Court decision issued last week, the Park City land dispute reached a resolution that sides mostly with landowner Talisker and Vail Resorts, which is vying to be the new operator.

The dispute centers around Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) officials failing to renew its historic lease by only a few days for a majority of its ski terrain. The court decision that came down last week says that landowner Talisker is now allowed to lease the ski area’s upper terrain to a new operator. The battle, which started back in 2011, escalated in 2012 when Powdr Corp—PCMR’s current operator— filed a lawsuit against Talisker after receiving notice in that Talisker “deemed that the Resort’s right to use the land expired, and that Park City Mountain Resort would need to vacate the premises unless the Resort entered in to a new agreement for the use of the land.”  For a summarized history behind the three-year battle, give this analysis from Heather Hendricks a read on TransWorld

According to Hendricks’ report, On May 21, District Court Judge Ryan Harris ruled in favor of Talisker Corp, giving Vail Resorts the rights to more than two-thirds of the land that Park City Mountain Resort operates on. This is the latest and most dramatic turn in the case, which inches Vail closer to having total control of the resort, although Powdr Corp plans to appeal the 82-page ruling.

Powdr Corp CEO John Cumming says that his company will not go down without a fight, according to several sources.

In response to Cumming’s statements, Talisker’s attorney, John Lund, offered this statement to the press:

“We are very pleased with the Court’s ruling today, reaffirming that Talisker’s leases with PCMR (Park City Mountain Resort) expired on April 30, 2011, more than three years ago. Talisker is also pleased that the Court has denied PCMR’s claims that Talisker violated any provisions of the lease, including with regard to any right of refusals. Talisker looks forward to bringing in Vail Resorts as its new tenant and operator of the terrain. By pursuing this lawsuit, PCMR caused years of unnecessary uncertainty for the Park City community and its guests. It’s now time for PCMR to move on and work out a realistic solution for access to the ski terrain from Park City. Talisker also looks forward to concluding the rest of the court case, including working out the amount of back rent and damages owed to Talisker by PCMR.”