Powdr Corp Evicted: Fate of PCMR Still Unknown

Words: Heather Hendricks

This story is continued from Part 1 Here

Last week, 3rd District Judge Ryan Harris, signed an eviction notice for Powdr Corp to vacate the land they lease from Talisker Land Holdings thats makes up the majority of Park City Mountain Resort. This is the latest ruling in the case that has been publicly drawn out for over a year.

The motion states that Park City Mountain Resort must vacate the land within 60 days so that Vail Resorts can take over as the tenant, but also states the judge has the ultimate authority to extend this date if he deems it necessary to do so.

This ruling also states that Powdr Corp and Vail Resorts/Talisker must meet with an independent arbiter to negotiate plans to keep the resort open next season. The official mediation must take place prior to August 15th, a mere twelve days before the official eviction date. According to Utah law, the actual time and the place of these mediations may remain confidential. It’s likely that the ongoings and discussions of these meetings will remain private until the next public hearing set for August 27th.

While the new ruling seems to side Vail on the surface, it may actually be a good thing for Powdr/PCMR. Personnel from the resort have stated they’ve had a hard time actually talking with Vail Resorts, let alone negotiating a deal with them. The court-ordered meetings may be the key to ending this fiasco in a favorable manner for all.

Recently, Powdr Corp outlined a plan to remove all of its lifts and operating equipment, which could create a “catastrophic impact to the local economy” according their motion to postpone the eviction order. 

In a detailed piece about Powdr’s motion to delay the eviction by Jason Blevins of the Denver Post, PCRM’s operators said they would “spend $4 million over 33 weeks to remove all snowmaking equipment, restaurant furniture, maintenance equipment and towers, cables and drives for 12 chairlifts on the disputed land. If it removed all its equipment, Vail would not have time to install the needed infrastructure to keep Park City Mountain Resort open next season.”

Vail Resorts and Talisker’s attorney, John Lund, countered the rhetoric saying, “The suggestion that they [PCRM] would prevent skiers and riders from accessing the upper mountain terrain is nothing more than a crude negotiating tactic or pure spite.”

In a statement regarding the eviction and mediation, Powdr’s Attorny, Alan L. Sullivan said this:
PCMR is gratified that Judge Harris stayed Vail Resort’s eviction order at least until another hearing now scheduled for late August and directed the parties to mediate disputed issues. These rulings will help ensure minimal disruption to the Park City community while the parties try to resolve the case and surrounding issues so that the 2014-2015 season will proceed business as usual. PCMR has been trying to resolve this dispute for over two years and PCMR remains committed to finding a resolution that works for both parties and the community. PCMR supports the Court’s order for third party mediation, and hopes Vail will now come to the table with a concrete offer. When that happens this dispute can move toward a prompt resolution.

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Scotty Arnold. PHOTO: Rob Mathis

It sure is a fiery battle raging between the two companies, so we reached out to OG shred, Scotty Arnold, whose been riding the resort for the past ten years for his insights into the debacle.

What do you think about the current situation PCMR and Vail are in?
SA: Its an interesting situation. It would be a bummer for Park City to lose what they have been doing such a great job with in the past, having such an amazing park and good all around vibe on the mountain. That being said I am not sure if Vail did take over, how that would affect the mountain and great staff Park City already has.

Do you think PCMR would be better if Vail owned/operated it, or would you prefer Powdr Corp to continue to be the sole owner?
SA: I can’t say who would run it better. I think Powder Corp has done a great job so far with what they do and it would be interesting if Vail did take over to see what would change and what would stay the same.

Has this case between Vail and PCMR impacted you in anyway? If so how?
SA: The only way it has affected me so far is in the subject of conversation. It is the talk around the town for sure and everyone definitely has their own opinion on the situation.

How long have you been shredding PCMR?
SA: This is my 10th year riding PC and their 50th anniversary. Its been great to be around for a 5th of their history and I hope to be here for much more good times ahead.

We reached out to several other Park City pros for their take on the whole situation, and many were less than forthcoming with their insights. It’s seems their ideas on how this case should play out are as unknown as the two companies fighting for the rights to the land.

Jenni Smith, President and General Manager of Park City Mountain Resort had this to say;

“We know this dispute has created uncertainty and tension for our team and also the community. We have been trying to resolve this dispute for over two years and we are committed to reaching an outcome where the Resort continues to be a world-class destination and integral part of the Park City community.”

Stay tuned…

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