Having read Vail's president's comments and then the nasty letter from Andrew Morphett in last week's Park Record, I feel compelled to respond. I have known Jenni Smith and John Cumming for many years and they define community-oriented individuals. I do not believe that making derogatory personal comments in the public forum is in anyone's best interest and certainly does not help resolve this situation whatsoever.
John Cumming and his family have lived here for many years and raise their children here. None of Vail's people, with the exception of Mike Goar, have lived here any appreciable length of time. Make no mistake, Vail is a corporation and they do not care about this community. They care about making money. They proved this on the first day by firing 42 of my friends and neighbors. Welcome to Park City.
I believe that Vail thought they could throw money at non-profits to further their agenda and pretend to be a stalwart member of the community. Good for you, Vail. A very nice one-off. However, let's all remember the girl we brought to the dance. The Cumming family and PCMR have enthusiastically supported virtually every non-profit in Park City for as long as I can remember. John, along with Brad Olch, started the Park City Foundation, which is the strongest benefactor of non-profits that this community has ever had, bar none. Comparing the years and years of devotion that PCMR and the Cumming family have had towards the well-being of this community with Vail's grand splash is like comparing a watermelon to a grape.
I would guess that a $25 million yearly lease obligation is going to be awfully hard to amortize with just the Canyons revenue. Hubris is a dangerous thing. Vail made a big gamble and it will be a sorry day in the boardroom at Vail Resorts when they realize they cannot manipulate PCMR. Given the latest comments by Vail, my guess is they are realizing they have the tiger by the tail. I really don't see the Cumming clan rolling over to satisfy the interests of an outside corporate entity. I personally stand behind the Cumming family, whom I know, respect and care about. At this point Vail is at a cross-roads. They may prevail in winning the lawsuit, but I'm not sure how one runs a resort without a parking lot or base area. I guess that you could access the resort via the Canyons, but it would be a long series of lift rides to get there. In any event, the lawsuit is a long way away from being settled. The issue of the right-of-first-refusal was clearly ignored. I am not certain where the responsibility lies with this issue, but I will bet that by the time the dust settles, it will be a major factor in the court's decision.
A last note in response to the recent nasty, personal comments by Andrew Morphett in the Letters to the Editor section; my guess is that you work for Vail in some capacity or you are a personal friend of someone in that organization. You claim to represent Park City. You do not. I generally find people here to be decent and respectful.