The top figures at Park City Mountain Resort parent Powdr Corp. and Vail Resorts have responded to a recent letter from Mayor Jack Thomas urging them to reach a resolution to a lawsuit centered on most of the land underlying the PCMR terrain.
John Cumming, who is the chairman and CEO of Powdr Corp. wrote Thomas on the same day the mayor sent his June 18 letter. Rob Katz, the chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, responded three days later. City Hall released the letters in response to an open-records request filed by The Park Record. Each of them is one page.
The Cumming letter to Thomas was dated one day before an important 3rd District Court hearing. Judge Ryan Harris ordered the sides into mediation as he indicated he would sign a de facto eviction order against PCMR but stay the enforcement of the order.
" . . . Within the past two weeks we have proposed to Vail Resorts (1) that the litigation be suspended to allow the parties to negotiate a settlement that will allow Park City Mountain Resort to operate in the 2014-15 season and beyond, and (2) that the parties immediately mediate the dispute to reach a settlement," the letter says.
Cumming says Vail Resorts "refused to agree to a suspension of the litigation, but it expressed some interest in mediating the case."
"Perhaps your letter will prompt Vail to help us expedite a resolution. We will agree to an immediate suspension of the litigation, as you proposed, so that the parties can resolve our differences quickly. We commit to you that we'll continue to press for a prompt resolution," the letter says.
In the letter from Katz to Thomas, meanwhile, Katz acknowledges "much of the rhetoric has been harmful and disruptive to so many in Park City." He points out that mediation was ordered by the judge.
" . . . We are very pleased with the Court proceedings Thursday and look forward to the Court completing this legal process.
Katz also says Vail Resorts agrees with a point in the Thomas letter describing that City Hall cannot take a side in the dispute.
"I want to emphasize that we agree with your decision and have not and will not expect the City to support either party in this situation. It is the responsibility of our Company, Talisker and PCMR to resolve this situation and Vail Resorts has been and continues to be absolutely committed to doing so," Katz says.
The letter from Thomas to the two sides was City Hall's most notable action in the case. Officials have been reluctant to involve themselves in the case.
Vail Resorts is overseeing the case for Talisker Land Holdings, LLC as part of a long-term agreement to operate the Talisker family-owned Canyons Resort. The deal could be extended to the disputed terrain at PCMR depending on the outcome of the lawsuit.