July 2 editorial | ParkRecord.com

July 2 editorial

The Canyons heaves sigh of relief; others still hold their breath

At last, employees at The Canyons know who their boss is.

Talisker Corp. announced Monday it had finalized its purchase of The Canyons from American Skiing Company, ending months of uncertainty among stakeholders and interested buyers.

Talisker representatives have been quick to reassure employees at The Canyons and members of the community at large that it will continue to invest in both the recreational and real-estate opportunities at the resort.

That is good news for Park City and Summit County residents who have benefited greatly from the combined success of the three area ski resorts. During the 2002 Winter Olympics, for instance, the three shared hosting duties and together cemented Park City’s reputation as a world-class winter destination.

But as news spread that American Skiing Company was disbanding and that various landowners at The Canyons were filing lawsuits against each other, one leg of that three-legged stool began to wobble. Combined with the downturn in the national economy, the future of The Canyons seemed to be in jeopardy.

It appears, though, that Talisker has come to the rescue. The company and its subsidiaries are already involved in developing high-end properties in Empire Pass and along the Jordanelle Reservoir, and the company has promised to expand its upscale brand to The Canyons.

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Talisker’s backing of The Canyons is certain to generate confidence among real-estate investors in the area. That, in turn, should help move forward the long-awaited golf course and other improvements at the ski area.

But before everyone gets too comfortable, there are still a number of disputes that must be settled. Like the much-publicized national presidential campaign, opponents must be willing to bury their hatchets before real or lasting progress can be guaranteed.

Hopefully, the new owners and managers of The Canyons will be able to forge more stable relationships with the mountain’s main landowners like Steve Osguthorpe and Kenny Griswold and quickly resolve lingering litigation issues.

The Canyons is an integral part of Park City’s community and its economy. This week’s sale is an important step toward stabilizing its future.

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