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Judge rules against Park City Mountain Resort in legal battle over land

By Shara Park and Mary Richards | Posted - Jun 19th, 2014 @ 6:27pm

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PARK CITY — A Summit County judge ruled against Park City Mountain Resort Thursday in one aspect of the court battle it has with Talisker Land Holdings. This major legal battle over land could impact millions of dollars in tourism in for Utah.

PCMR attorneys argued in court that it would be chaos for the economy if they are forced to evict, while Talisker attorneys countered that PCMR didn't renew their lease in enough time and it has rights to the property. Third Judicial District Judge Ryan Harris ruled in favor of Talisker, but put a stay on his eviction order until Aug. 27 when they meet again.

Hall also ordered mediation for both parties, urging them to reach an agreement for the sake of PCMR employees and the community, which must be completed by Aug. 15.

It finally took a judge's order to bring both parties to this point; this has been a two-year battle over the terrain after PCMR failed to re-sign its lease on time.

Talisker owns a majority of the land, but PCMR owns the base, several lifts and the water rights, making it difficult to run a resort without them.

With the eviction order signed and stayed Thursday and the order for mediation, attorneys for both sides are now hopeful that a deal can be reached.

“We are confident there are a lot of smart business people here who can find a resolution to this,” said attorney John Lund, who represents Talisker and Vail. “The main obstacle to us is these folks not understanding the reality of losing their lease.”

If PCMR and Talisker can't make the deal by Aug. 15, the judge will decide on Aug. 27 if the eviction stands, how long PCMR has to move and how much the resort owes in restitution.

If that happens, PCRM says the result could be catastrophic, costing the community thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tourism revenue.


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