Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker extend mediation deadline for second time

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Mon, Aug. 25, 2014, 1:30 p.m. MDT

 Park City Mountain Resort in Park City on Thursday, June 19, 2014. Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker Land Holdings asked for more time Monday to negotiate a three-year dispute on the resort's lease of 3,000 acres owned by Talisker.

Park City Mountain Resort in Park City on Thursday, June 19, 2014. Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker Land Holdings asked for more time Monday to negotiate a three-year dispute on the resort's lease of 3,000 acres owned by Talisker.

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

PARK CITY — As snow fell on Wasatch Mountains peaks over the weekend, urgency intensified as negotiations continue between landowners and Park City Mountain Resort in allowing it to continue operating through the 2014-15 ski season.

Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker Land Holdings, the owner of much of the land on which the resort operates, sent a letter to 3rd District Judge Ryan Harris on Monday morning, asking for the second time to extend the deadline for court-mandated mediation to 5 p.m. Friday.

The two parties failed to reach agreement by the initial Aug. 15 deadline, as well as the second deadline that ended Sunday.

"As of this morning, the parties continue to work in good faith with the mediator," Monday's letter states. "The parties do not request the extension of any other deadlines imposed by the court."

After the resort failed to renew its lease in 2011, Talisker presented the resort with an eviction notice last August. Harris, however, stayed the notice, and the two parties were ordered to work toward resolving the dispute.

Park City Mountain Resort has accused Talisker of trying to run it out of business by refusing to extend its tenancy after the landlord entered a long-term lease agreement with Vail Resorts, which now operates Canyons Resort adjacent to Park City Mountain Resort. Talisker has denied such claims.

A court hearing scheduled for Wednesday is expected to determine a bond amount that would allow Park City Mountain Resort to continue operating on the roughly 3,000 acres of disputed land. Park City Mountain Resort officials have said the resort is willing to pay a fair market lease to keep it open during the coming ski season.

"Talisker and Vail Resorts are completely committed to finding a resolution to this dispute that is in the best interests of all the parties and the Park City community," Talisker officials said in a statement. "As such, we appreciate continuing to be in the court-ordered mediation process, and we remain optimistic that the parties can come together and bring closure to the disruption caused by the litigation."

Jenni Smith, president and general manager of Park City Mountain Resort, says the resort recognizes the urgency with ski season approaching.

"(Park City Mountain Resort) will continue to negotiate with Vail in the hope that a reasonable settlement can be reached," Smith said. "The Park City Mountain Resort team lives in this community and realizes what is at stake. Only PCMR will be able to operate the resort for the upcoming 2014-15 season, unless a long-term solution is reached immediately.

"Our goal is, and always has been, to keep the resort open for the 2014-15 season."

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com

Twitter: MorganEJacobsen

1. My2Cents
Taylorsville, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

The park city resort operators has plenty of time to renew or negotiate contract 3 years ago and it looks like they are stalling and not willing to be cooperative with the land owners and the land owners have earned the right to boot Park city resorts off the mountain. This law suit is frivolous and criminal abuse of political power of governemnt intervention to stop the land owner from personal use or leasing the land for other renters.

The park city mob is trying political abuse of power to deny the land owner the rights to his land. The judge should have thrown this dispute out of court and land owner has no obligation to negotiate with park city government over use of his land. The park city consortium had plenty of opportunity over the 3 years and the park city consortium was given 3 years notice to vacate and they refused. If I was the land owner I'd stop negotiating and call in a wrecking crew to tear down and remove any of the equipment belonging the park city consortium at their cost.

2. Utes11
Salt Lake City, Utah,
Aug. 26, 2014

uhm, My2Cents, that is about what your ideas are worth. What has not been accurately reported is that Talisker accepted, and cashed, Park City's rent checks for 9 months after the missed renewal date! allowing for PCMR to operate normally and add infrastructure! ....THEN when in early talks with Vail, someone doing due diligence noticed that the renewal date had been missed. Vail WAY over paid to operate The Canyons, knowing that the date had been missed and 'banking' on being able to operate on the leased land. If you renewed a 50 year lease on your home and then remodeled your kitchen AND then your landlord tried to evict you, wouldn't you be angry!! "tear down and remove any equipment"....you obviously aren't a skier. The 'equipment' is millions of dollars of ski lifts that Vail claims now belongs to them! PCMR has previously stated that they would take the majority of the lifts with them if they go. What this really is about is a Colorado company trying to come into Utah and continue to try to corner the market in the ski industry! Keep Vail OUT!

3. LindaGJ
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 26, 2014

Yes PC resort did give and Talisker did accept months of rent. But eventually patience wears thin. When you haven't renewed your lease after 2/3 of a year it seems you become a month-to-month tenant at best. Looks as if the remaining negotiations would involve the fair value of the lifts and accessories installed on the land, not who owns the land or gets the right to operate on it. VA has a lease on Canyons, so a fair lease value for land seems to have been established. The value of the lifts is probably higher than the cost to remove them; if PCMR is reasonable people, that's what would happen.

PCMR can operate this winter unless pig-headedness prevails and PCMR destroys the lifts. PCMR can operate, or VA can operate, the economy and people of Park City would be served. Time for some sensible grownups to intervene, IMHO