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Park City Loses its Lease on the Mountain

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The latest chapter in a story that’s just seemed way to absurd to be real, it appears that Vail Resorts hostile takeover of Park City may just be happening. According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune:

A 3rd District judge ruled Wednesday the resort missed a 2011 deadline for renewing its lease on more than 2,800 acres of mountainside from Talisker Corp., which said afterward it “looks forward to bringing in Vail Resorts as its new tenant and operator of the terrain.”

The 83-page ruling leaves PCMR with only the base facilities and the lower portion of the mountain. But that could be enough to make it difficult for Vail to run PCMR’s expansive terrain from Canyons.

“Even if Vail ultimately prevails in this litigation,” Powdr Chief Executive John Cumming said, “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.

So in other words, it ain’t over ’til it’s over and Park City is not going down without a fight. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, unless any of you can make sense of this legal mumbo jumbo.

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Comments (12)

  1. They don’t have water rights either which means no snow making capabilities unless they bring water from the land that is currently Canyons resort. PCMR will still have plenty of area to build and host on snow activities for WoodwardParkCity. Powdr has pushed for this to go to jury trial because it would be a better venue for their case. Powdr has never said they filed on time. Instead they are claiming that it was always understood that they would resign the lease and Talisker agreed to that in good faith. Talisker said they never agreed in good faith however tax documents filed BEFORE the resign date show Talisker filing for tax relief on the land for the NEXT fifty years claiming PC was intending to lease it. To Powdr this is the smoking gun showing a good faith agreement but can only be brought up in court in a jury trial. It has also recently come to light that Talisker promised Vail PCMR “on the cheap” when they brought Vail in last year. Powdr says this shows shady dealings by Talisker because at that point why would anyone think Powdr would not sign a lease even if there wasn’t a good faith agreement. The acquisition of Snowbird by PCMR/Powdr owners changes this case too. Now Powdr still has a resort in Utah and won’t be “forced” to sell off the base area for funds. Ultimately I think at this stage there is going to be large scale pressure from political and commercial players in PC to get Talisker to settle. This is because losing PCMR and not having Talisker be able to realistically do anything with the land until MASSIVE and costly constructions projects are finished would destroy PC economically. People who go to Canyons bitch about it taking 45 minutes from the lot to getting a run just imagine how long it would take you to get to the area that is currently PC. Best case it goes to jury and they decide Powdr is right and Talisker was shady and everything continues as normal. Probable case is we will see TAlisker settle for renegotiating a shorter and costlier agreement with PC. Worst case this ruling stands and Talisker/Vail take PCMR and destroy Park City as well all know it now.

  2. Oh also they don’t own the lifts or any structures so they would either have to buy them from Powdr( who says they are not for sale) or allow Powdr to remove them and then build all new lifts/restaurants etc on the mountain. How much do you think that alone would cost Talisker/Vail.

    • Dude Best Comments I’ve seen about this whole thing. I’m glad that somebody actually knows whats going on and knows their shit! Long Live PC!

    • Good summary B&S. Also, don’t forget that PCMR/Powdr still owns the parking lots at the base of the resort and the acerage where the base lifts are located. What is Talisker/Vail going to do without parking? Extend their bucket ride from the Canyons parking lot to PCMR? Sublet the high school parking lot and build a mono rail to the resort? Come to think of it, they could rebuild that Disney 7 Dwarfs Mining Train ride and run the thing like a proper resort.

    • When you own the land, you also own all that has been built on the land since it was originally bought. If you buy 100 acres and build a barn and horse stables and then 50 years later somebody else buys it from you or you don’t pay the lease, they also own all of those structures along with the land. It is similar to a foreclosure. If somebody buys a lot and then decides to build a house on it, and then it is foreclosed, the bidder will get the house and the land. The ski lifts are not going to have to be rebuilt, nor will the ski patrol huts, or the mid-mountain diners. Those will all stay there. However, you are correct about the water rights. You can sell the land but they can keep the mineral rights, unless if that was also a part of the lease. If it is a part of the lease, that will go with it. If it is not, then sure enough, this fight will go on and the pc economy will slowly go to shit.

  3. Stop thinking! Whatever happens, continue to go there and buy stuff! Keep the money flowing and the business growing.

  4. The whole snowboard world is stressing too much about this. We are talking about one of the biggest resort conglomerates trying to take over a mountain from another one of the bigger resort conglomerates. Vail is a publicly traded company that owns a ton of major resorts, and Powdr is a privately held company that owns a ton of major resorts. We are not talking about Vail or Powdr taking over a tiny shred spot, they are just fighting about a resort that is already corporate. Whichever company wins there will be a corporate resort in Park City.

  5. I hear the rails at Vail resorts aren’t painfully sticky…

  6. Ive never been to park city but vail resorts has speed limits for snowboarders/skiers. That’s all I know.

  7. If Canyon’s park this year was any indication of how PCMR would turn out I would be very bummed for Vail/Talisker to purchase PCMR. PMCR has consistently pushed terrain parks since they have opened. Canyons on the other hand has consistently produced generic terrain parks. I would hate to see PCMR purchased…