PCMR v. Talisker: surprise move may save resort’s ski season
Talisker Land Holdings and Vail Resorts said on Friday they will not oppose a request by Park City Mountain Resort to stay the enforcement of an eviction order against PCMR until a high-profile lawsuit has been decided.
The two firms, however, indicated PCMR must be willing to post a bond to remain on the land through the appeal process. The 3rd District Court judge presiding over the case would set the amount of the bond later.
Talisker Land Holdings, LLC will request the bond cover PCMR’s rent over the course of at least four ski seasons, including the next ski season, attorney fees and interest, the firm’s lead attorney, John Lund, said in an interview, adding the number would triple for the 2013-2014 ski season and future ski seasons.
Talisker Land Holdings, LLC and Vail Resorts released a statement about the move on Friday.
"Talisker does not believe that a stay is productive in this situation given how long this legal process has already taken and the remote likelihood of PCMR’s success on appeal. However, Talisker and Vail Resorts are very mindful that uncertainty regarding the 2014/2015 ski season is taking a toll on the Park City community," the statement said.
The statement also said Talisker Land Holdings, LLC wants the judge to "hold a hearing to set the appropriate bond amount as soon as practical so that PCMR can quickly make their decision as to whether they intend to post such bond that would allow them to continue operating next season."
Judge Ryan Harris recently signed a de facto eviction order against PCMR after making a series of rulings in favor of Talisker Land Holdings, LLC. He stayed the enforcement of the eviction order, though, until Aug. 27 and ordered the sides into mediation. The mediation deadline is Aug. 15. An important hearing is scheduled Aug. 27.
The case centers on PCMR’s lease of Talisker Land Holdings, LLC acreage that underlies most of the resort’s terrain. The PCMR side brought the lawsuit and the case now involves a countersuit. The judge has sides with the landowner on the key points of the case. PCMR earlier in July took a first step toward an appeal to the Utah Supreme Court.
Talisker Land Holdings, LLC amid the lawsuit reached an agreement with Vail Resorts to operate the Talisker family-owned Canyons Resort. The lease could be extended to the disputed terrain at PCMR depending on the outcome of the lawsuit.
There have been increasing concerns in Park City in recent weeks about the prospects of an eviction leading to the cancellation of the 2014-2015 PCMR ski season or forcing PCMR to greatly scale back its operations during the ski season. The lower terrain, the base area and the parking lots are not involved in the case, creating the possibility of PCMR operating on the lower terrain.
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The group that represents businesses along Main Street or just off the street has called for the development of a park-and-ride lot, something that would likely be a major project even for a municipal government that is stressing transit as a key step to reducing traffic. The Historic Park City Alliance broached the idea in a wide-ranging memo to Park City leaders.