Vail Resorts heads to Park City amid broad trademark opposition
July 12, 2016
Rob Katz, the chairman and CEO of Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts, is expected to arrive at the Marsac Building on Wednesday afternoon for a meeting with the mayor of Park City.
A former mayor of Park City and perhaps more than 100 others are also expected at the Marsac Building to greet him.
City Hall officials and a delegation from Vail Resorts are scheduled to meet privately about the Colorado firms application for a trademark on the name Park City as it applies to a mountain resort. The application has drawn widespread opposition in Park City that could reach a crescendo on Wednesday as critics of the application plan to demonstrate as the closed-door meeting starts.
Katz, PCMR Chief Operating Officer Bill Rock and Kristin Kenney Williams, who is the vice president of mountain community affairs for Vail Resorts, will represent the PCMR-Vail Resorts side.
Dana Williams, who served three terms as the mayor of Park City ending in early 2014 and is one of the leading critics of the trademark application, scheduled the demonstration to coincide with the meeting.
The demonstration is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. in the parking lot on the south side of the Marsac Building. Williams said the demonstrators will press City Hall to file a formal opposition to the trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The municipal government has already filed paperwork indicating it is considering a formal opposition, but the mayor and Park City Council have not decided whether City Hall will oppose the application formally.
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Williams said the concept of Vail Resorts securing a trademark for the Park City name is unacceptable to us as a community regardless of the limited scope of the application. He said there is broad opposition to the trademark application.
I think its important to show him this isnt just a fringe, Williams said about the opponents.
City Hall and Vail Resorts attempted to negotiate an agreement meant to protect the numerous businesses that already use the Park City moniker in their name, but there was a breakdown in the talks in early July as Vail Resorts insisted it would not withdraw or amend the trademark application. The municipal government responded with an assertion that it would consider scrapping a partnership between City Hall and PCMR that contemplates the municipal government putting up to $10 million into a transit hub and garage at the resort, heightening the tension as this weeks meeting approached.
I think the mood is high anxiety . . . Were hopeful we can get to an agreement, Mayor Jack Thomas said, adding that City Hall officials want to better understand the Vail Resorts intentions in the trademark application and the branding of PCMR as Park City.
Thomas, City Councilor Andy Beerman, City Manager Diane Foster and Matt Dias, who is the assistant city manager, will represent the municipal government at the meeting on Wednesday.
Vail Resorts on Monday released a prepared statement revisiting many of the issues related to the trademark application, including that the firm is willing to enter into agreements with other businesses that use Park City in their name outlining it would not take action against them if the trademark is granted. Vail Resorts wants to secure the trademark to ensure another mountain resort does not use the name Park City.
Our only intent is to assure that no other ski area in the United States calls itself Park City, and that no other business falsely represents or suggests that it is affiliated with or connected to our Park City ski area, the statement said.
An unknown person or persons, meanwhile, over the weekend or early on Monday added the sign for trademark, TM, to the PC lettering on PC Hill just off Kearns Boulevard. The TM on PC Hill is the most notable public protest to the trademark application to date. The TM drew widespread attention early in the week.