Lawsuit could be settled in Coalville love fest
Close to settling a lawsuit this week with Wolf Mountain Resorts, the Summit County Commission hopes construction of an 18-hole golf course will begin at The Canyons next spring.
"This is going to be a good thing, not just because it’s a golf course, but because it is open space," said David Gee, an attorney who represents Summit County. "It’s a very, very positive development and I think Wolf, when it got right down to it, made the right decision."
Wolf Mountain Resorts managing partner Kenny Griswold owns much of the land at The Canyons, which he leases to American Skiing Company, the owner of the resort.
"The golf course has always been at the forefront of Wolf’s wishes and we are very proud of David Gee and the County Commission," Griswold said in a telephone interview Thursday.
In the late 1990s, Wolf Mountain, American Skiing Company and roughly 20 other landowners pledged with Summit County to cooperatively construct a golf course near The Canyons.
But as the key developer at the resort, American Skiing Company defaulted on the development agreement and the company’s lease with Wolf Mountain when the golf course was not built in 2002, Griswold claimed.
Until Wednesday Griswold had refused to convey his interest in the golf course partly because he claimed the course designer had envisioned using too much of his land, Gee said.
According to Griswold, "American Skiing Company wanted Wolf to solve some of their obligations."
"We addressed that in the settlement," Gee explained. "We agreed that the golf course would not include certain areas."
If Griswold signs the settlement agreement approved Wednesday by the County Commission, Gee said that a lawsuit filed against Wolf Mountain by Summit County that demanded Griswold convey land for the golf course would likely be withdrawn.
"They’re conveying their interest in the golf course parcels, they’re conveying their interest in the roads that are built and to be built and they are delivering the easements that are necessary for the golf course," Gee said.
But the county set no deadline for Griswold to sign the settlement agreement, said Joanne Nadalin, director of The Canyons Resort Village Management Association, the group charged with operating a golf course at the resort.
"There hasn’t been anything signed by Wolf Mountain and I don’t have any idea if or when there will be a settlement agreement," Nadalin said.
"In order for the golf course to actually happen, a number of land trades and cost-sharing agreements that involve Wolf Mountain and a number of other property owners have to happen."
"Wolf hasn’t agreed to do those land trades," she added.
However, Griswold insists Wolf Mountain hasn’t shirked its obligations under the development agreement and he cautioned American Skiing Co. officials not to malign his company, adding, "It’s bad for ASC if they try to manipulate public opinion."
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