The 3rd District Court judge presiding over the lawsuit between Park City Mountain Resort and its landlord, Talisker Land Holdings, LLC, on Wednesday sided with the landlord in two critical rulings.
Judge Ryan Harris reaffirmed an earlier ruling that PCMR's lease of much of the terrain underlying the resort expired in 2011. He also ruled that PCMR was not denied a right of first refusal when Talisker Land Holdings, LLC reached an agreement with Vail Resorts to operate Canyons Resort. The deal could be expanded to include the disputed terrain at PCMR depending on the outcome of the case.
The rulings had been highly anticipated since two hearings in April, but it was not clear when Harris would issue them. He had indicated it could be longer than the 60 days he normally takes, but the actual length was shorter than 60 days.
The Talisker Land Holdings, LLC side released a prepared statement on Wednesday saying it was pleased with the ruling. The statement read, in part: "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.
PCMR also released a prepared statement from John Cumming, the CEO of resort owner Powdr Corp. Cumming said he respects the court decision. He said, though, PCMR and Vail Resorts must negotiate a settlement.
"We respect the Court's decision but at the end of the day it doesn't change the fact that Vail and PCMR can and must resolve this dispute. For that to happen, both parties will need to sit down at the table, negotiate in good faith, and come to a rational agreement. We are committed to doing exactly that, which is why we have made repeated offers to buy or lease the disputed property for an amount far in excess of market value. But let me be clear: we will not walk away and allow a Vail takeover," Cumming said, in part.
In a separate prepared statement, Alan Sullivan, PCMR's lead attorney, said the PCMR side will appeal the rulings. PCMR will operate as normal for the 2014-2015 ski season, Sullivan's statement said.