Judge Favors Park City Mountain Resort Operator in Latest Ruling
by Joel Carson
Utah Real Estate
SLBR 2012 ‘Salesperson of the Year’
In the continuing saga of Powdr (Park City Mountain Resort) vs. Talisker (Vail Resorts), the current world-class resort manager won the last battle round, but the war is far from over. Third District Court Judge Ryan Harris ruled PCMR is not required to turn over a series of emails Talisker attorneys were sure would implicate officials of conspiring to commit fraud.
Talisker sought 21 emails exchanged between PCMR administrators and attorneys in 2011. PCMR had reportedly failed to send a signed lease by the due date. Resort officials are accused of backdating documents to cover up the mistake. On Sept. 5, Harris ordered PCMR to turn the emails over to him so he could determine whether or not the messages indicated intent to commit a crime. Harris ruled the emails fall under attorney/client privilege. He said there is no indication the emails sought legal advice on intentional deception; therefore they are not exempt from laws that protect attorney/client communications.
In a bitter battle for prime mountain property Talisker has demanded PCMR, a tenant, vacate property the resort operator has leased for decades. The deadline for vacating has passed and the resort is still marketing the 2013-2014 ski season as if the show will go on uninterrupted.
PCMR’s lease has remained the same since about 1971. Resort operators have reportedly paid $155,000 per year to occupy 27,000 acres. Last spring, the resort sued Talisker Corporation when the original deadline was missed and ensuing lease negotiations broke down. Talisker has demanded PCMR enter into new terms on its lease instead of perpetuating its existing lease. The land owners want more money (and believe they can get it). Vail recently reached an agreement with Wolf Mountain Resorts to lease about 4,000 acres (Canyons Resort) for $3 million a year.
I’ll continue to monitor the situation and do my best to keep you posted on events as they unfold.
Park City is a world-class resort. Regardless of the outcome here, this is a stunningly beautiful location to own a home, condominium or townhouse. If you’re thinking of buying Park City real estate, don’t hesitate. Browse WF-MLS listings today at www.allparkcityhomes.com.