Park City Mountain Resort to have ski season, resort to pay bond

Posted at 11:49 AM, Sep 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-09 20:21:11-04

PARK CITY -- There will be a ski season at Park City Mountain Resort.

In a statement to FOX 13, PCMR's parent company, Powdr Corp., said it would post a court-ordered $17.5 million bond to ensure a 2014-15 ski season.

"Our goal has always been to keep PCMR open for the upcoming 2014-15 season and beyond," Jenni Smith, PCMR General Manager, said in the statement. "Paying the bond ordered by the judge will provide our employees, the Park City community and our many guests the certainty they've been waiting for about our upcoming ski season."

The bond being posted is a sigh of relief for the Park City community, which was bracing for a major economic loss if PCMR were to close.

"Whoo hoo!" shouted a cashier at Cole Sport in Park City, when told by FOX 13 that PCMR had posted the bond. She threw her fists up in the air in celebration.

Cole Sport owner Adam Cole, who has two shops at PCMR, said he was thrilled to hear they were proceeding with a ski season.

"Without Park City (Mountain Resort), people aren't going to come," he said. "It's going to be a slower winter."

Visit Park City, which markets to out-of-state visitors, said it was bracing for a loss akin to the recession impact in 2008. At City Hall, they were bracing for sales tax losses in the millions of dollars.

"Every aspect of Park City's economy and every household could have been affected by this," said Mayor Jack Thomas.

The mayor said PCMR is estimated to employ more than 2,000 but it would have affected shops, restaurants and hotels.

"That cascades into every other aspects of our economy, Summit County, as well as the Salt Lake Valley," he said.

Ski Utah, which markets all of Utah's ski resorts, was pleased with the news of the bond.

"Whew!" exclaimed Ski Utah President Nathan Rafferty. "Bring on winter!"

PCMR has been in long-term litigation with the landlord over the mountain, Talisker Holdings. A judge in Silver Summit's 3rd District Court ruled PCMR missed a deadline to renew its lease on the mountain.

Talisker wants to evict PCMR and bring in Vail Resorts, which operates the nearby Canyons resort. Complicating matters is the fact that PCMR owns the base of the mountain, including the parking lots, buildings and other infrastructure.

The judge ordered both sides into mediation, but so far no deal has been reached.

Talisker said Tuesday it was pleased to see the bond posted.

"We applaud PCMR for agreeing to post the bond in the amount determined by the Court to ensure the resort will be open for the 2014-15 season," Talisker attorney John Lund wrote in an email to FOX 13. "Talisker and Vail look forward to continuing to work with PCMR on a long-term resolution to this situation for the benefit of the employees, guests and the entire Park City community."

In the statement to FOX 13, Smith expressed hope those talks would continue.

"I am very happy that the resort will be open this year," Smith said. "While the most important outcome today is that PCMR will be open for business, the bond payment is only a short-term solution for the 2014/15 season. As such, we will continue working with Vail toward a reasonable and fair long-term solution."