Epic battle in Park City brings new Epic Pass benefit!

Written by Greg and Heather Burke • Sep 11, 2014

What does $182.5 million buy these days? A hotly debated ski resort in Park City that missed paying the rent for several seasons, that’s what. After months of legal battling, posturing, court appointments and arbitration, Vail Resorts has bought Park City Mountain Resort. This deal occurs after a Utah judge had declared PCMR had failed to renew its lease. Oops. Park City’s coming ski season was uncertain for winter operation due to the “clerical error”

So Powdr Corp sold off their flagship ski resort in Park City. “Selling was the last thing we wanted to do,” said John Cumming, CEO of Powdr. “While we believe the law around this issue should be changed, a protracted legal battle is not in line with our core value to be good stewards of the resort communities in which we operate.”

Part of the PCMR sale to Vail includes retaining Park City Resort employees in their current roles for the coming season. All season passes at PCMR will be honored, in fact, pass holders can exchange or upgrade for a season pass also valid at the neighboring Canyons. The plan for this season also allows for lift tickets to the Canyons and Park City to be interchangeable, and part of Vail Resort’s Epic Pass.

Mountain operations at Park City and the Canyons, which Vail Resorts also operates, will remain separate for the 2014-2015 ski season. However, Vail expects to connect the two resorts, according to Ski Area Management.

Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts said, “I commend John Cumming and Powdr Corp. for helping to find a solution to this situation.” Blaise Carrig, president of Vail Resorts, will act as interim chief operating officer at PCMR. “We understand that this acquisition represents a change for all of the employees of PCMR and I look forward to working with everyone on the PCMR team as we develop a vision for the future of the resort,” he said.

Park City now makes Vail’s Epic Pass cheaper for a dozen, with Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Canyons, Brighton, Northstar at Tahoe, Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Afton Alps.

Powdr’s ski resort portfolio now includes Copper, Mt Bachelor in Oregon, Killington and Pico in Vermont, Boreal, Las Vegas, Gorgoza Park and Soda Springs. As for Powdr’s future, Cumming said, “The sale positions Powdr well for future growth, and we’re excited to explore new lifestyle and mountain sports opportunities.” I suppose a $182 million sale would afford some new alpine opportunities.