A long battle between two Park City ski resorts has escalated with one resort serving an eviction notice on the other last week. The eviction notice was served Wednesday by a subsidiary of resort operator Talisker Corp., which owns much of the land at Park City Mountain Resort. Talisker operated the nearby Canyons ski area until recently, when it sold the operation to Vail Resorts Inc.
And Vail has chosen to continue the fight with Park City Mountain Resort. According to the eviction notice Park City Mountain Resort is supposed to vacate its ski area—and leave the chair lifts and lodges behind—by Monday. Not surprisingly, Park City operators says it’s not going anywhere.
Talisker claims Park City Mountain Resort failed to renew a long-term lease by a deadline March 1, 2011, waited months for the lease to expire, then sent a letter May 2, 2011, backdated by two days that claimed to renew the lease the day it expired, on April 30, 2011.
“Your backdating of this notice and your apparent efforts to keep it hidden force us to take a different approach to our dispute and long-term relationship,” Talisker said in a letter Wednesday to Park City Mountain Resort.
Park City Resort’s response: “Vail’s action is nothing more than a bald-faced attempt to circumvent the litigation already in process and interfere with our business,” Smith said. “We will not give in to Vail’s bullying, and look forward to conducting business as usual for the 2013-14 season.”
The Park City resort had leased those lands from United Park City Mines since the 1960s, but Talisker bought the mining company in 2003 and became a landlord. Then, in 2009, Talisker bought the Canyons resort from American Skiing Co. Park City Mountain Resort owns the base area of its ski resort, parking lots, the so-called Town Lift, and water-rights and snowmaking systems outright. Under the old lease, Park City Mountain Resort was paying $155,000 a year in rent for the Talisker-owned land, court papers show. Canyons officials say they pay $3 million a year to lease much of their ski resort from independent landowners.
Talisker lawyers filed objections in court to the “deception,” and a judge set a hearing for Sept. 6.