Attorneys for Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker Land Holdings, LLC on Friday asked the 3rd District Court judge presiding over a high-profile lawsuit between the two parties to extend a mediation deadline by nine days.
Judge Ryan Harris in June ordered the sides into mediation with a deadline of Friday. Alan Sullivan, the lead attorney for the PCMR side, and John Lund, Talisker Land Holdings, LLC,'s lead attorney, signed the one-page letter to the judge. The two attorneys request that the mediation be allowed to continue until Aug. 24, a Sunday.
"We want to report that the parties continue to work in good faith with the mediator. With the Court's permission, the parties have agreed to continue their mediation discussions until August 24, 2014," the letter says.
It says the attorneys would meet with the judge if he wants more information about the request.
The letter to the judge, released to the media midmorning on Friday, came hours before the mediation deadline Harris set in June. Neither of the sides has provided details about the mediation efforts, saying that state law requires the process be a private matter. It is not known who was selected as the mediator or how many sessions have been held.
Harris during an Aug. 6 telephone conference with the attorneys inquired about the mediation. Lund and Sullivan indicated during the conference that mediation had not concluded. The judge declined to hold a private telephone conversation with the attorneys to receive a more detailed briefing about the mediation.
In July, meanwhile, the two sides released prepared statements about the mediation. Neither of them offered details, however.
The July statement from the Talisker Land Holdings, LLC side said it hoped for a resolution quickly "for the good of all parties and the Park City community." The statement was attributed to Kristin Williams, a Vail Resorts spokesperson. Vail Resorts is overseeing the litigation on behalf of Talisker Land Holdings, LLC as part of a long-term agreement to operate the Talisker corporate family-owned Canyons Resort. The deal could be extended to the terrain at PCMR disputed in the lawsuit.
The PCMR statement in July, attributed to Sullivan, said the resort is "committed to reaching a resolution that works for the parties and the community."
PCMR filed the lawsuit in 2012. It centers on whether the resort's lease of Talisker Land Holdings, LLC acreage underlying most of the PCMR terrain was renewed. The Talisker Land Holdings, LLC side filed a countersuit seeking PCMR profits from the disputed land.
The judge has largely sided with Talisker Land Holdings, LLC and has signed a de facto eviction order against PCMR. Harris stayed the enforcement of the eviction order, though, until at least Aug. 27 to allow the sides to attempt to reach a settlement through the court-ordered mediation.
An important hearing is scheduled on Aug. 27. The Friday letter from the attorneys indicates they do not request extensions to other deadlines as the hearing approaches.
There has been increasing concern in recent weeks about the prospects of PCMR not opening for the 2014-2015 ski season as a result of the lawsuit. The late-summer deadline for mediation -- just three months before PCMR typically opens for the ski season -- magnified the concerns.