Can Park City and Vail play nice?

Written by Greg and Heather Burke • Jun 25, 2014

The battle of the big Utah ski guns continues. Following the Utah judge’s recent order that Park City Mountain Resort and Vail Resorts/Talisker sit down and hash out the suit over ski turf, they are firing more shots. Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) continues to claim that Talisker refuses to negotiate and just wants to take over their ski area. Talisker and Vail Resorts claim they were willing to discuss reasonable compensation for back rent, then wanted PCMR out in 60 days. The judge‘s order May 21, 2014 issued a one-two punch with his ruling:

1) the eviction order stands

2) the 60-day time clock won’t start until after both sides mediate on August 15, 2014, and there’s a hearing on August 27 regarding damages on both sides and back rents owed according to SAM Ski Area management on line.

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah’s ski resorts, has argued they need more than 60 days if the judge upholds the eviction order, claiming that removal of chairlifts, snowmaking equipment, groomers, etc, would cost as much as $3 million to remove and take a minimum of 33 weeks work. Park City Mountain Resort would need to shorten three lifts to keep them on its undisputed land.

Park City, owned by Powdr Corp., goes on to say that if they appeal the eviction and win, reinstalling the lifts would require two seasons and cost approximately upwards of $7 million.

Talisker and Vail Resorts issued a prepared statement in response, “The Court has ruled that Park City Mountain Resort ‘s lease with Talisker expired on April 30, 2011. Park City Mountain Resort has now had use of Talisker’s land for more than three years without paying rent, all the while making enormous profits. ”

“A solution cannot be reached, for next season or the long-term, until PCMR finally acknowledges that their lease has expired, ends their legal maneuvering and begins to talk about realistic solutions to this situation,” the statement read.

What will happen to the local economy if Park City Mountain Resort continues their legal battle and refuses to pay and play with Vail Resorts/Talisker? Some locals say Vail is a bully, a monster coming into Park City and creating a monopoly with abutting ski resort The Canyons. Others see that Park City’s lease expired back in 2011, by their own fault, and no rent has been paid for the ski terrain land use in over 3 years.

If you are planning you Park City ski vacation for next season, I’d be watching this story on August 15. Of course, you can always ski Deer Valley next door, but don’t bring you snowboard – they still ban boarders. You can ride at the Canyons – and your Epic Pass will probably be good at this Utah Vail Resort.