Will Park City Mountain Resort have a ski season?

Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-15 00:14:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's 100 days from the start of ski season in Utah, but there is a chance it could start without one of the state's biggest resorts.

A deadline is looming in the legal war between Park City Mountain Resort and the mountain's landlord, Talisker Holdings. A judge has set a Friday deadline for mediation and figures for a bond to ensure the resort operates through the ski season.

At an event put on Thursday by Ski Utah, the marking arm of Utah's 15 ski resorts, PCMR acknowledged there was uncertainty.

"We've had some questions. There's certainly that uncertainty in the community and we understand that," Andy Miller, a spokesman for the resort, told FOX 13.

However, he said the resort was pushing forward and preparing for the upcoming season.

"The mediation process is continuing and we're doing our best to work with the other side in this case and come up with a resolution and be able to announce business as usual for 2014-15 as soon as we can," Miller said. "Let the legal process and the negotiation process work itself out."

PCMR and Talisker Holdings have been locked in multi-million dollar litigation for some time now. A judge ruled last year that PCMR missed a key deadline to renew its lease on the mountain and recently signed an eviction order, but told both sides to go into mediation.

An attorney for Talisker told FOX 13 on Thursday the mediation was continuing. Recently, PCMR and Talisker indicated they were open to having a bond posted to ensure the ski season. Such a bond is expected to be in the millions of dollars. A hearing is set for Aug. 27 on how much it would be.

The uncertainty over PCMR's future has cast a cloud over Park City, whose economy depends on ski tourism. The ski industry in Utah contributed $1.3 billion to the local economy last year. Ski Utah, which markets all of the state's resorts to people from all over the world, said it was watching the litigation with hopes for a resolution.

"We're certainly very concerned and watching extremely closely," said Ski Utah president Nathan Rafferty. "But at the end of the day, those are two big businesses that need to sort it out and I think they will. There, frankly, is too much at stake not to move ahead with a ski season this year."