Vail Resorts buys Park City Mountain Resort
The long and messy legal battle between Powdr Corp and Vail Resorts over Powdr Corp’s failure to renew a land lease on time has finally ended. In a surprise move, it was announced today that Vail Resorts acquired all of Park City Mountain Resort for 182.5 million dollars. This settlement includes all litigation fees and ensures the resort will open as scheduled for the 2014-2015 season. Vail also announced that Park City Mountain Resort will be a part of their Epic Pass this season.
“First and foremost, we are very pleased to bring a permanent end to this dispute and provide assurance to the guests and employees of PCMR, and to everyone in the Park City community, that they no longer have to worry about any disruption to the operation of the Resort. This has been a difficult period for everyone involved and I commend John Cumming and Powdr Corp. for helping to find a solution to this situation,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.
“Park City Mountain Resort is one of the most spectacular mountain resorts and iconic brands in the ski industry and I am proud to have the resort become a part of Vail Resorts. The acquisition will allow us to immediately bring Park City Mountain Resort onto the Epic Pass, which will now offer snowboarders from across the country and around the world access to 22 resorts, including Canyons in Park City, Utah; Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe. We look forward to working collaboratively with the entire Park City community, as well as city and county officials, as we chart the future for the resort, including how we can best bring the Canyons and Park City ski experiences together to create the largest mountain resort in the United States,” Katz added.
We reached out to several Park City Mountain Resort staff to get their initial take on the settlement, and they let us know that they were blindsided by the announcement this morning. As they went into work today, they were called into a team meeting which was led by John Cumming, the CEO and Founder of Powdr Corp, and Jenni Smith, the President and General Manager of Park City Mountain Resort.
This executive duo informed all employees that a settlement had been reached and that they are no longer a Powdr Corp Resort, but apart of Vail Resorts. The deal included a clause that all PCMR employees are to be retained by the new owners, but Jenni Smith announced she would be stepping down.
“Selling was the last thing we wanted to do, and while we believe the law around this issue should be changed, a protracted legal battle is not in line with our core value to be good stewards of the resort communities in which we operate,” John Cumming said in a statement. “A sale was the only way to provide long-term certainty for PCMR employees and the Park City community. My family and I are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to play a role in making PCMR what it is today, and we deeply appreciate the dedicated employees and all of the people who have supported us over the years.”
Still, the abrupt settlement did come as a shock as the PCMR employees we talked to have yet to be in-contact with their new owners at Vail.
Though there are plenty of logistical items to iron out with the new owners, the PCRM employees we spoke to seemed optimistic about the future.
“While this news certainty came as a shock, I believe it was made in the best interest of Park City as whole. Now it seems that we have a solidified future. We look forward to a great season, albeit the growing pains we’re sure to endure, this change is in the best interest of the community—skiers and snowboarders alike,” said our PCMR contact who wished to remain unnamed.