Powdr Corp. CEO: Vail in ‘a bit of a pickle’ with Canyons deal
April 4, 2014
The chief executive officer of Park City Mountain Resort parent Powdr Corp. on Thursday indicated Vail Resorts is in a bind with an agreement to operate Canyons Resort and is attempting to wrest control of the land underlying most of PCMR’s terrain as a result.
John Cumming, the CEO, spoke to reporters at 3rd District Court after a lengthy hearing in the lawsuit between the PCMR side and its landlord, Talisker Land Holdings, LLC. Vail Resorts became the operator of Canyons Resort in 2013 through a long-term agreement with Talisker Land Holdings, LLC. The deal could be expanded to include the disputed terrain at PCMR depending on the result of the lawsuit.
"I think they’re looking for a really great deal on a ski resort that is well run, has been well invested in, has a great trademark and brand, a great position in the market," Cumming said. "I think they’ve got themselves in a bit of a pickle with the deal that they’ve done to acquire the Canyons, and they’re hoping they can get Park City Mountain Resort cheap enough to justify it."
Cumming acknowledged that the case is a "terribly tragic situation, potentially, for our team at Park City and the community."
The comments were rare public statements about the case by Cumming. He has more frequently made comments about the case through prepared statements released by PCMR.
Cumming said his side has "been trying very hard for several years to find some practical resolution." He said Powdr Corp. has offered to buy the land in question at an above market price and has indicated it would enter into a lease with payments that are above the market.
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"And we hope that as the legal process goes forward, there’ll be some rational discussion from the other side, too," he said.
Cumming said if Talisker Land Holdings, LLC is successful in the case, Powdr Corp. could pursue an action sports facility known as Woodward Park City. The resort plans to build Woodward Park City on land that is not involved in the lawsuit. He said PCMR has focused on serving families and youngsters for decades.
"It’s a plan that we hope we never have to activate by itself, but it’s one that we’ll be happy with and we think the kids in this community will love," he said about Woodward Park City.
Talisker Land Holdings, LLC released a prepared statement after the hearing through its lead attorney, John Lund.
"We are pleased that these legal matters are progressing. While losing this case may be a tragedy for John Cumming and his family, it will not be a tragedy for the resort or the Park City community. We look forward to the court’s determination," the statement said.
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