Bonanza Lift at Park City, Utah resort. Photo by Adam Pyranovich.

Park City, Utah, one of North America’s premier ski and snowboarding destinations, has filed a law suit against Canadian land owners, Talisker Land Holdings LLC on Monday, March 12, 2012 in an attempt to curb the tide of what may result in the closure of the resort and loss of 1,200 jobs.

According to a press release by Park City Mountain Resort on March 9: “After extensive and, sadly, unsuccessful negotiations, we reluctantly took the initiative to file this lawsuit,” said Jenni Smith, president and general manager of Park City Mountain Resort. “We need to protect the future of the company and our more than 1,200 employees, who bear a tremendous burden of uncertainty in this matter, and the many local businesses and homeowners in the Greater Park City area. We are seeking relief through the court, the only option left at our disposal.”

At issue is the continuing right to use land occupied by some of Park City Mountain Resort’s chairlifts and runs. On December 27, 2011 Talisker Land Holdings, LLC advised Park City Mountain Resort that it deemed that the Resort’s right to use the land expired, and that Park City Mountain Resort would need to vacate the premises unless the Resort entered in to a new agreement for the use of the land.

Principals of Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker met repeatedly in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to discuss multiple property transactions, business opportunities and infrastructure investments, including the future lift connection between Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort, a Talisker property. In the Summer of 2011, Park City Mountain Resort paid its annual fee for the use of the land, which was accepted by Talisker, and invested $7 million in infrastructure upgrades throughout the Resort.

“The growth and success of Park City Mountain Resort is 100 percent attributable to the investment, the hard work and dedication of our management and entire staff of 1,200 employees and more than 400 volunteers,” continued Smith. “We’re going to fight as long as it takes to keep Park City Mountain Resort locally owned and locally operated.”

According to a complaint filed in the Third Judicial District Court (Summit County), “plaintiffs sue the defendants to prevent them from interfering with the continued operation of the Resort and from attempting to shut the Resort down.”

According to Talisker, who released an official statement in reaction:  “We have not reviewed PCMR’s complaint in detail as of yet.

PCMR’s lease of Talisker’s land expired in 2011. Talisker has offered PCMR new lease terms, and the parties have been in discussions regarding such new lease terms, which are subject to an agreement of confidentiality. We had hoped to reach terms on the new lease that would be fair to both parties. Unfortunately it appears that PCMR is attempting to use litigation to better its position, and avoid reaching a mutually fair outcome.

At no time in these negotiations has Talisker contemplated or threatened to close Park City Mountain. We believed the negotiations were continuing and we are disappointed by PCMR’s action today.

Talisker will have no further comment at this time.”

Meanwhile a site’s been set-up for more information at www.SupportPCMR.com as well as a Twitter campaign #supportPCMR.

Stay tuned for more information as the situation unfolds.

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