The president and general manager of Park City Mountain Resort has retracted a portion of a prepared comment attributed to her shortly after the judge issued a ruling that favored the resort in an increasingly acrimonious lawsuit involving PCMR and a firm under the Talisker Corporation umbrella
Ryan Harris, the 3rd District Court judge presiding over the case, in the morning on Sept. 10 ruled that PCMR did not have to turn over a set of emails to the Talisker Corporation side. He indicated the messages are protected by attorney-client privilege, a legal doctrine that holds communications between an attorney and a client are not subject to release.
PCMR later that morning issued a prepared statement from Jenni Smith, the resort's president and general manager. The statement included a sentence that addresses in generalities the prospects of a settlement between PCMR and Talisker Corporation. Vail Resorts is overseeing the litigation for Talisker Corporation as part of its agreement to operate Canyons Resort.
"We have always preferred a fair resolution between the parties instead of a court fight, but Vail and Talisker have repeatedly rejected our more than reasonable offers and countered with outrageous demands," Smith said in the prepared statement.
The resort, though, later that week issued the retraction, indicating that Smith did not accurately portray the situation in her quote. Smith is a central figure in the lawsuit and has issued a series of prepared comments through the course of the case. In her comment retracting the quote, she acknowledges that she made a mistake when talking about the chances of a settlement.
"On Tuesday, I misspoke by including Vail in my comments about efforts to settle this case. Since Vail's involvement in this situation, neither PCMR on the one hand nor Vail and Talisker on the other hand have made or rejected any offers to settle the matter," the retraction said.
Vail Resorts followed the PCMR retraction with a brief prepared statement in appreciation attributed to Kelly Ladyga, a spokesperson for the Colorado firm.
"Regarding the statement released by PCMR today, we appreciate Jenni Smith correcting the remarks made to the Park Record on Tuesday. Vail Resorts looks forward to a resolution of this dispute that is in the best interests of the guests and community of Park City," Ladyga said in the statement.
The case centers on PCMR's lease of Talisker Corporation land that encompasses much of the resort's terrain. The Talisker Corporation side claims PCMR did not renew the two leases, prompting the resort to file the lawsuit.
The back-and-forth between the two sides about the Smith comment occurred shortly after the case intensified with a highly charged round of letters to the judge about the date of a 2011 letter that PCMR believed was its renewal notice. The Talisker Corporation side served PCMR with a de facto eviction notice soon after the exchange of letters.
The two sides are scheduled to appear in court again on Wednesday for a hearing about a bid by PCMR to add two points to the lawsuit. One is a claim that the Talisker Corporation side violated the leases by not allowing PCMR the right of first refusal when it reached the agreement with Vail Resorts. The other claims the deal with Vail Resorts itself is a violation of the leases.