SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah -- What’s in a name? A lot, if you ask the people of Park City.
Dana Williams served three terms as mayor ending in early 2014.
“We’re welcoming them into the Park City family, and now you want our name, and it’s just not acceptable,” Williams said.
With more than 40 businesses that incorporate Park City into their name, many locals became concerned when Vail Resorts applied to trademark the words Park City.
In fact, more than 100 have filed official complaints with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That's despite promises from Vail Resorts and Park City Mountain Resort CEO Bill Rock that their intent is only meant to block other ski resorts from using the name Park City.
“Our intent is to give assurances that we're not trying to impact anyone else’s business, just protect our resort as a ski area,” Rock said.
Vail Resorts has also agreed to various memorandums of understanding with the city and any business that is afraid the corporate entity would one-day go back on its promise and start forcing businesses to remove Park City from their name.
Despite these assurances, many business owners like Canice Harte, the owner of Park City Running Company, still fear the future if this trademark is approved.
“Things quite often can sound good in the beginning and go a bit sideways, and I think that’s of course where the natural fear is for most people,” Harte said.
Fearful about how this agreement could potentially change over time with a shift in management, many like Paul Kerwin are urging the city council to formally oppose Vail Resorts’ trademark application.
“I think it’s up to the city council to make a stand and just say, 'No,'” Kerwin said.
The patent and trademark office has given Park City until July 9 to decide if they want to file a formal opposition against Vail Resorts.