When I was a kid and got into an argument with one of my sisters, my parent's reaction generally went like this:
First signs of a fight:
"You two quit bickering right now and work it out."
Five minutes later, when one of us called for a parental referee:
"I don't care who started it, I said work it out and I don't want to hear any more crying."
Ten minutes later, usually about the time a can of hairspray or a shoe was thrown:
"That's it. Both of you, in the bathroom now."
And that's when my mom or dad would literally lock my sister and me in the tiniest bathroom in the house -- room for only a toilet, sink and trash bin -- and we were stuck in there together until we sorted it out. Occasionally we'd fight again over which one of us got to sit on the toilet seat, but the more we got locked in the bathroom, the shorter our disagreements became. It's always easier to forgive and move on when faced with the reality a bar of soap is your only form of entertainment for the foreseeable future.
It's time for Park City Mountain Resort and Vail Resorts to be locked in a bathroom.
Up until now, I can't say I've really taken a side on the ongoing legal battle. For starters, I ski Deer Valley, so I don't really feel like I have a dog in the fight. Secondly, I'm not a district court judge, so frankly, my opinion about who's right and what should happen doesn't really matter.
Except now it's gotten to a point now where anyone living in the 84060 (or 98) is the actual dog in the fight. And whatever happens affects us all in some way -- tourist dollars, jobs, season pass prices, local businesses, home values -- everything is at stake. And us locals are a bunch of newly born poodles in a house full of pit bulls. We are the underdog in this fight.
While the lawyers battle it out, with one side warning of a ski-industry apocalypse while the other still can't figure out how to get people from the parking lot to a ski run in less than an hour, the whole town is in limbo.
As I said, I haven't really taken a side on the matter, but as of late, PCMR is making it difficult to defend them.
Last week the resort laid out a detailed and multi-million dollar plan to dismantle lifts, should they be evicted from the property. Which is kind of like saying you know your car is getting repossessed because you didn't make your payments on time. But since the seats and steering wheel are removable, you're taking them out before the guy with the tow truck arrives.
Two weeks ago, the resort's CEO, John Cumming, said if PCMR loses the appeal he's prepared to close the resort and operate only the base area, which is not part of the disputed terrain. So basically, he's willing to hold the local economy hostage, but promises to give us a cool sledding hill in exchange.
For its part, Vail has kept pretty quiet about the whole thing. It's widely regarded the $25 million per year they signed up to pay to operate the Canyons is highly excessive. Most experts concur Vail only agreed to that amount assuming it would be running PCMR in the near future too.
But they can't run it without some sort of agreement with PCMR. Vail may have the majority of the ski terrain but PCMR owns the parking lots, water rights, and base facilities. Essentially, they both have half the code needed to prevent Armageddon, but neither side seems willing to blink first. And the town stands to lose one heck of a lot if the bomb drops.
Forget the bathroom. Let's lock them both in an outhouse.
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.