Talisker pledge: we won’t force a PCMR shutdown next ski season
Talisker Mountain Inc. said in a prepared statement Tuesday it has given Park City Mountain Resort a written assurance that it will not force the closure of the resort for the upcoming ski season, a commitment that seems to remove uncertainty about whether PCMR will be open for the 2012-2013 season.
According to the statement, Talisker Mountain Inc. agreed to rent "that essentially assures PCMR a profit" during the ski season. Talisker Mountain Inc. said the commitment was provided to the resort in April.
Another firm under the Talisker umbrella, Talisker Land Holdings, LLC, is the key defendant in a lawsuit brought by PCMR that could determine the ultimate control of the resort.
The lawsuit centers on a lease dispute, with PCMR worried that it might be forced out of business if it does not prevail. The resort claims Talisker wants to disable it as a competitor of Canyons, which is owned by Talisker. Much of the PCMR acreage is leased from Talisker. The Talisker side claims the leases expired, but the PCMR lawsuit argues that the resort properly renewed the two leases.
The Talisker Mountain Inc. statement about the upcoming ski season will be welcomed broadly by the Park City business community. PCMR in March had indicated the most recent ski season and this year’s summer season would not be impacted by the case. The resort, though, declined to say with certainty the 2012-2013 season would not be affected.
PCMR included a disclaimer in its marketing materials for the 2012-2013 ski season indicating that the resort might not open. The disclaimer outlined refunds that would be provided to people who purchase season passes should the entire ski season or part of the season be canceled based on the lawsuit.
Talisker Mountain Inc. said in the Tuesday statement the written assurance not to force the closure of the resort for the 2012-2013 season was delivered to the resort "weeks prior to PCMR’s suggestion to the marketplace that it might not be open for the upcoming ski season."
"That commitment was provided to minimize distractions to the Park City Community while the contractual disagreement between PCMR and Talisker works its way to resolution," the statement said. "Talisker is disappointed that PCMR continues to circulate incorrect and inflammatory information to the public via the press and otherwise."
Meanwhile, Talisker Mountain, Inc. addressed a June comment by Sen. Orrin Hatch indicating he was trying to nudge the two sides into a settlement. Hatch did not provide details but said an accord was important to Park City and the state. He said then both sides appeared willing to settle.
"Talisker respects and welcomes the Senator’s offer to facilitate discussions, and very much hopes his efforts will lead to a successful conclusion," the Talisker Mountain, Inc. statement on Tuesday said.
PCMR later on Tuesday released the following comment in response to the Talisker Mountain, Inc. statement:
"We’re encouraged by Talisker’s stated commitment to refrain from attempting to evict Park City Mountain Resort from the land it has occupied for more than 40 years. We remain hopeful that a long-term resolution of our dispute can be reached soon."
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“We’re kind of turning the corner … and it’s now time to maybe put out the welcome mat in a careful and thoughtful manner,” said Bill Malone, president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.”