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Slugging it out in the Wild West

 

7 September 2014 Author Paul Quigley

 

A long-running court battle between two ski industry Giants is putting the upcoming season in jeopardy at Park City, a major Utah resort popular with Brits and that has served as a past Olympic venue.

 

The problem has arisen because the Park City Resort failed to renew its dirt cheap decades old, lease agreement on time. The lease then passed to its new owner who then decided to evict its old tenants, Park City Resort and chose as its successor the United States largest ski operator, Vail Resorts. With Vail resorts already taking over Park Citys neighbouring resort, The Canyons last year, it is keen to work on the synergies and develop another monster resort to rival Vail.

 

However this is not as simple as kick one tenant out and move another one in, as despite losing the mountain, Park City owns the real estate at the base of the mountain. A local attorney said that "One of them owns a beach and the other owns the beachfront hotel," and can one survive without the other?

 

The two sides will keep talking to each other through mediation up until the hearing in Park City where a  Judge will set a bond amount that Vail says should be about $124 million and Park City maintains should be less than $7 million.

 

If the ski area shuts for the season, it could mean $185 million in lost sales for Park City businesses, said Mayor Jack Thomas. "It's now getting to the point where people are getting pretty nervous about what's going to happen this winter," said Hans Fuegi, owner of the Grub Steak and we have ask whether myself and 2000 other locals are going to lose our livelihoods"