Park City Mountain Resort's lead attorney in a lawsuit against a firm under the Talisker Corporation umbrella said in an interview he anticipates officials from Vail Resorts will be ordered to answer questions about the negotiations that led to an agreement between those two parties involving the operations of Canyons Resort.
Alan Sullivan said the PCMR side will want to learn about any discussions between Talisker Corporation and Vail Resorts about the PCMR leases of Talisker Corporation land. Comments about the value of the property PCMR leases would also be of interest, he said. He said he will eventually request documents, provide written questions and schedule depositions, a process known in the legal field as discovery.
"We're going to ask about it. We'll want to know what they had to say," Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he assumes Vail Resorts and Talisker Corporation officials will be required to give depositions. Requiring Talisker Corporation figures to sit for depositions has long been anticipated, but it remains unclear what sort of role Vail Resorts officials will play in the discovery process.
Vail Resorts and Talisker Corporation reached a lease agreement in May calling for the Colorado company to operate Canyons Resort, which is co-owned by Talisker Corporation. The initial term covers 50 years with the option of six 50-year renewals. Vail Resorts will pay $25 million annually, with inflation-based increases, plus a percentage of the resort operations. Vail Resorts has said it will put a long-term debt obligation on its balance sheet of approximately $305 million.
The deal came as PCMR and the Talisker Corporation firm remained locked in a lawsuit in state court centered on whether the resort's leases were renewed. PCMR's side claims they were while Talisker Corporation argues otherwise. A Third District Court judge dismissed key points of the PCMR lawsuit in late 2012.
Vail Resorts assumed responsibility for the Talisker Corporation side of the lawsuit as a part of the lease agreement. The Vail Resorts lease with Talisker Corporation could be expanded to include the PCMR terrain depending on the outcome of the lawsuit. Vail Resorts representatives have not discussed the case in any depth publicly and declined this week to comment about the discovery process.
In late April, meanwhile, a month before the announcement of the Vail Resorts-Talisker Corporation agreement, a document was filed in Third District Court outlining a timeline for the case. It ends with a March 7, 2014 entry indicating that would be the date of a certificate of readiness for trial.
Other key dates in the timeline included:
Sullivan, the PCMR attorney, said the arrival of Vail Resorts will likely delay the timeline, perhaps by months.
"My belief is this discovery schedule is going to slip some," he said.