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Eviction notice issued in lease dispute at Park City resort

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PARK CITY — Park City Mountain Resort has received an eviction notice in an on-going dispute between two companies. But the resort says it's staying.

This appears to be only the latest legal maneuver over a disputed lease agreement.

In a notice, Talisker Land Holdings called Park City Mountain Resort a tenant and said it's giving it five days to get off the land.

In documents obtained by the Park Record, Talisker claims the resort intentionally back-dated a document so it appeared to show the resort intended to renew its long-term lease before a deadline in 2011.

"As you are aware, we believe the leases between us expired on April 30, 2011, while you have maintained that they were extended," the notice read. "Despite our belief that the leases expired over two years ago, we have allowed you to remain on the property."

According to one of those documents, Talisker said, "Backdating a document is a tactic solely used to deceive a business partner."

Park City Mountain Resort circulated a statement to the media tying Vail Resorts, which operates The Canyons, to the eviction effort.

The vice president of corporate communications for Vail Resorts, Kelly Ladyga, issued the following statement:

"As we have previously stated, under the terms of our agreement with Talisker in connection with our lease of the Canyons, we have assumed oversight of the litigation between Talisker Land Holdings LLC and Park City Mountain Resort. We have an obligation to protect and preserve Talisker's and our interest in this matter.


"We are concerned with the behavior that Park City Mountain Resort has demonstrated in this situation. Talisker issued Park City Mountain Resort the Notice to Quit as a necessary legal step to bring this issue to the Court and we anticipate that there will be a number of actions required to bring this dispute to closure. With that said, there is no intent by Talisker to take any action that would prevent PCMR's ability to operate their resort during the upcoming 2013-2014 ski season.

"We are very cognizant of the importance of this situation to the entire Park City community and we look forward to bringing this situation and its uncertainty to a conclusion."

Jenni Smith, president and general manager of Park City Mountain Resort stated, "Vail's eviction notice is nothing more than a bald-faced attempt to circumvent the litigation already in process and interfere with our business. We will not give in to Vail's bullying and intend to conduct business as usual for the 2013-14 season."

According to documents previously filed in the lawsuit, Park City's lease of 3,700 acres of land costs it just $155,000 a year. The Canyons pays $3 million a year for the land it leases from Wolf Mountain.

If Park City Mountain Resort were ever "evicted" from the disputed land, it would include much of its ski terrain. The resort controls its base area, parking lots and town lift base.

It's unheard of. Just, honestly, asinine. The thought of not being able to ride a lift blows my mind.

–Courtney Anderson, Park City resident

The eviction would not only affect the resort owners, but it will also impact the other business owners that are tied to recreational activities on the mountain and the people who visit the resort year round.

"It would be devastating for all the locals who use this mountain," said Park City resident Priscilla Watts.

"It's unheard of. Just, honestly, asinine," said resident Courtney Anderson. "The thought of not being able to ride a lift blows my mind."

Kip Vanvalkenburg, store manager for Cole Sport, said that is not good news for them either because they've tried to knit themselves to the resort.

"When you take out two-thirds or one half of our stores away from us, that makes a huge dent in how we can run our business and employ people in town," Vanvalkenburgh said. "We would obviously like to see it resolved. Last year there was a similar issue and it ended up getting sorted out in the end, so I guess the hope be that something similar could happen."

Some locals believe that there is something much deeper with the two company's. Typically this time of year there is a big push to sell cheaper season passes, and this eviction notice could serve as a way to lower the resorts sales.

"It's sad that it's come down to the almighty dollar. This is Park City," Watts said.

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