Vail Resorts on Wednesday said it has reached an agreement with Talisker Corporation to lease Canyons Resort, a deal that brings one of the ski industry's top brands to Park City.
In a prepared statement, Vail Resorts said it "has assumed all of the resort operations of Canyons . . . " as part of the lease. The statement said Talisker Corporation will retain the development rights at the resort.
"With 4,000 skiable acres, easy access to the town of Park City and $75 million in recent resort improvements, Canyons is a perfect complement to our collection of world-class mountain resorts," Rob Katz, the chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, said in the prepared statement, commending Talisker Corporation's efforts at Canyons Resort.
The statement, meanwhile, indicates that the agreement includes the possibility of the Vail Resorts lease expanding to the acreage at Park City Mountain Resort that is under the ownership of a Talisker Corporation-controlled firm. PCMR and the Talisker Corporation firm are engaged in a lawsuit centered on the PCMR lease of the land.
"We look forward to the litigation being resolved and hope that Vail Resorts can play a constructive role in helping to arrive at a solution that offers the best outcome for guests of both resorts," Katz said in the statement.
Jack Bistricer, the CEO of Talisker Corporation, said in the statement the firm is "thrilled to be able to bring in Vail Resorts to partner with us on our vision for Canyons."
"Vail Resorts is the clear leader in the mountain resort industry and I am confident that they can replicate at Canyons the success they have delivered at resorts such as Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Northstar," Bistricer said.
According to the statement, the Vail Resorts lease has a term of 50 years with the option of six 50-year renewals. Vail Resorts will pay $25 million annually in fixed payments that will increase annually based on an inflation index.
Talisker Corporation will also be paid 42 percent of the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of the resort operations exceeding $35 million.
Vail Resorts said it would finalize the numbers later but anticipates it will put a long-term debt obligation on its balance sheet of approximately $305 million.
Blaise Carrig, the president of the mountain division of Vail Resorts and the managing director of The Canyons from 1997 until 2002, said the Broomfield, Colo.-based firm wants a presence in Utah.
"We think Utah is a great ski market," Carrig said, adding, "Utah's been kind of a missing link for us."
Carrig said employees at Canyons Resort will be shifted to the Vail Resorts payroll system on July 1. He said it was too early to discuss the prospects of personnel changes at Canyons Resort.
Vail Resorts on Friday said Mike Goar was named the general manager of Canyons Resort, the top staff position. Goar had been the managing director of the resort under Talisker Corporation, which was also the highest-ranking post.