Talisker chief: Vail ‘far superior’ than Powdr Corp.
April 22, 2014
The chairman and CEO of Talisker Corporation said in an April 8 declaration the firm’s 2013 deal with Vail Resorts was superior to any that Park City Mountain Resort was negotiating prior to filing a lawsuit centered on PCMR’s lease of much of the land underlying the resort’s terrain.
Jack Bistricer’s three-page declaration was submitted to 3rd District Court on Monday as an exhibit to a Talisker Land Holdings, LLC filing seeking the signature of Judge Ryan Harris on a formal eviction order.
Bistricer is an important figure in the case as a person who was closely involved in the negotiations with the PCMR side prior to the lawsuit as well as the talks with Vail Resorts that brought the Colorado firm to Park City.
The declaration says the "highest value for the land underlying Canyons Resort and PCMR would be achieved by linking the two resorts together — and, further, that such linkage would be more likely to occur if the resorts were operated under unified management."
The deal between Talisker Land Holdings, LLC and Vail Resorts calls for the firm to operate Canyons Resort. The agreement could be expanded to include the disputed PCMR terrain depending on the outcome of the case. Bistricer and Rob Katz, the CEO of Vail Resorts, were the key figures in negotiating the deal.
Bistricer in the declaration calls Vail Resorts a "far superior resort operator" than Powdr Corp., the parent of PCMR.
"As I said in my deposition, Vail is ‘a dramatically better operator [than PCMR’s current management]. It’s not even in the same ZIP code.’ That remains my view today," the declaration says.
The declaration briefly outlines the financials of the agreement, including the $25 million annually Vail Resorts pays in base rent.
The declaration also says: "I believed this to be a much better deal for the Talisker-affiliated companies involved in the transaction than any deal that could have been achieved with PCMR management, which already had rejected proposed rent terms and abandoned any further negotiations long before Mr. Katz and I began to negotiate the deal we ultimately reached. In retrospect, the terms offered by PCMR during the negotiations they unilaterally terminated were not close to what it turned out Vail could do."
The Talisker Land Holdings, LLC filing also includes a declaration by Anthony Iannazzo, identified as an investment professional at a firm called Varde Partners, Inc. The Iannazzo declaration is another exhibit. Varde Partners, Inc. is the manager of another entity, called Flera, LLC. The PCMR side says Flera, LLC has day-to-day control of the land in dispute.
The Iannazzo declaration indicates Flera, LLC supports the move against PCMR "and would make the same decision to evict PCMR if it were in a position to do so as a result of a ruling from this Court."
The PCMR side recently argued in court that a transaction involving the Talisker corporate family and Flera triggered a right of first refusal in the leases. The judge should undo the transaction, the PCMR side argued.
"While Flera would, of course, comply with any Court order, Flera has learned of no new information that would change its views of the best way for (Talisker Land Holdings, LLC) to maximize the value of its assets," the Iannazzo declaration says.