The battle for a Park City ski area

Powdr Corp., Mt. Bachelor owner, and Vail Resorts in court

By Rachael Rees / The Bulletin

Published Apr 16, 2014 at 12:01AM

Park City Mountain Resort, a sister ski area to Mt. Bachelor, is battling Vail Resorts to maintain control of much of Park City’s 3,300 acres of skiable terrain in Utah.

But the legal fight also pits two of the nation’s big ski-area owners: Powdr Corp., which owns Park City Mountain Resort and eight others in six states — including Mt. Bachelor, and Vail Resorts, which owns 10 ski areas in five states including four in Colorado.

At issue: whether Park City Mountain Resort let its lease lapse in 2011 and whether it can be evicted.

John Lund, attorney for Talisker Land Holdings, LLC — the landlord/corporation that owns about 2,800 acres of the upper portion of the Utah ski resort — said the lease expired.

So Talisker rightfully leased the land to a new tenant, Vail Resorts, Lund said, and last summer, Vail Resorts issued an eviction notice to Park City Mountain Resort.

But Park City Mountain Resort’s lawyer, Alan Sullivan, said the lease didn’t expire and regardless, Park City Mountain Resort owns the bottom portion of the resort, which includes the parking or base area.

“Even if (Vail) wins on everything, it’s got a problem, and that is they cannot use the upper part of the mountain because Park City (Mountain Resort) owns the bottom,” Sullivan said.

During two separate hearings earlier this month, a Utah judge took all of the motions under advisement and said he would probably issue a ruling in late May or early June, Sullivan said.

Vail Resorts representatives would not comment on the litigation. But in a letter provided by Lund, Talisker’s attorney, Robert Katz, Vail CEO, told John Cumming, Powdr CEO, “We intend to continue to vigorously defend Talisker in this lawsuit, but that should not be misconstrued to suggest that we don’t want a negotiated resolution, which we have consistently told you is our preference.”

Powdr spokeswoman Krista Parry said the legal dispute will not affect Powdr’s other resorts, including Mt. Bachelor.

“It’s not going to impact operations or planned investments that we have across other business,” she said.

Andy Goggins, director of marketing and communications for Mt. Bachelor, said it’s business as usual at the ski area west of Bend. According to the April season pass holder letter, Mt. Bachelor season pass holders will receive up to 15 days of skiing at Powdr resorts next year including Park City Mountain Resort. And on its own website, Park City Mountain Resort has 2014-15 season passes for sale.

“Everything that we’ve seen and heard is that Park City is planning on operating as normal for the 2014-2015 season,” Goggins said.

—Reporter: 541-617-7818,

rrees@bendbulletin.com