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Land dispute won't hamper 2012-13 ski season

Land dispute won't hamper 2012-13 ski season

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — A popular Summit County ski area will be allowed to open next season.

The managers of Park City Mountain Resort have reached a lease deal with the Toronto-based company that owns the land on which the resort operates.

Talisker Corp. confirmed Tuesday that it has provided Park City Mountain Resort with a written commitment not to close the resort during the upcoming 2012-13 ski season.

"That commitment was provided to minimize distractions to the Park City community while the contractual disagreement between PCMR and Talisker works its way to resolution," according to a statement released by Talisker.

The two entities have been at odds for months.

At issue is the expiry of leases for 2,800 acres of ski terrain on Talisker land. Talisker said the leases expired in 2011.

However, Park City Mountain Resort filed a lawsuit in March, claiming it renewed the leases in a proper and timely manner. The matter is now in court.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has reportedly offered to facilitate resolution of the disagreement between the two entities. Talisker said it "respects and welcomes the senator's offer to facilitate discussions, and very much hopes his efforts will lead to a successful conclusion."

According to an April report by The Associated Press, Park City Mountain Resort accused Talisker — which owns Canyons Resort — of trying to drive it out of business by refusing to extend the leases for years longer, a claim Talisker denied.

Talisker, a longtime real-estate operator around Park City, owns much of the ski terrain at Park City Mountain Resort, which leases 3,700 acres of upper-mountain land for ski lifts, lodges and slopes.

It is unclear how or why the resort let Talisker snatch up its prime ski terrain. Park City had leased the ski lands from United Park City Mines since the 1960s, but Talisker bought the mining company in 2003 and became the landlord.

In 2009, Talisker bought Canyons Resort from American Skiing Co.

Neither side is revealing terms of the negotiations, but according to its lawsuit, Park City Mountain Resort had been paying $155,000 annually in rent for the land. Canyons officials say they pay $3 million a year to lease much of their ski resort from independent landowners.

"We will continue our discussions with Talisker and look forward to working with them on a reasonable solution," said Jenni Smith, PCMR president and general manager.

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