The message to people considering a ski vacation to Park City next winter: no need to worry about the lawsuit between Park City Mountain Resort and its landlord, Talisker Land Holdings, LLC.
Soon after the judge in the case this week issued rulings that favored the landlord, people with a stake in Park City's vital tourism industry said in interviews the 2014-2015 ski season does not appear to be threatened.
"Business as usual," said Bob Hughes, the general manager of Park City Peaks Hotel on S.R. 224.
Hughes said bookings for next February are well ahead of the pace of bookings for February 2014 through the same time period. February is typically a bellwether month in the ski industry. He said the hotel tells prospective guests it is anticipating a "nice, long wintry" ski season.
"We support the community. We're here as a business to drive tourism. Our goals haven't changed. Our mentality hasn't changed," Hughes said.
Hughes, meanwhile, is a member of the board of directors of Ski Utah, the marketing arm of the state's ski industry. He said a board of directors meeting is scheduled next week to discuss the sales and marketing plan for the 2014-2015 ski season. He said it will be a "standard strategic plan" and there are not concerns about the next ski season based on the lawsuit.
Mike Sweeney, whose family owns the Town Lift Plaza at the bottom of PCMR's Town Lift, also used the phrase "business as usual" when talking about the next ski season.
"What I see is a stay tuned for the next two years as it goes through the appeals process. This is not over by a long shot," Sweeney said.
Sweeney, however, said he is concerned with the idea that a Talisker Land Holdings, LLC victory could result in a split of the upper terrain at PCMR from the lower terrain and base area. The upper terrain is at stake in the lawsuit, but the lower terrain is controlled by the PCMR side and not involved in the case.
It would be devastating if the terrain used to access the Town Lift runs is cut off eventually, he said.
"If there's no skiing into Old Town, that's going to create a tremendous negative impact," he said, calling it a "worst-case scenario" and saying Main Street would be hurt badly.
Mayor Jack Thomas released a statement after the rulings saying there is "every reason to expect that resort operations will continue uninterrupted." The statement said he hopes the sides continue to focus on "the importance of putting resort operations, employees and the community in the forefront."
Thomas in an interview said both sides appear committed to "working this out."
"We're pretty optimistic about Park City Mountain Resort opening next year," Thomas said.