For an update on this story please click here
UPDATE: (Sept. 11, 2014)
KILLINGTON – Powdr, the owner and operator of our Killington Resort and Pico Mountain, has reached an agreement to sell its Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) assets—including the base area, parking, lower ski terrain and lifts, as well as water and snowmaking for the entire mountain—to Vail Resorts. It was, reportedly, a $182.5 million cash deal.
“Killington Resort and Pico Mountain will not be affected by Powdr’s decision to sell Park City Mountain Resort to Vail Resorts,” states Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “Rather, this positions Powdr, which owns and operates Killington and Pico, well for future growth and success. Both Killington and Pico will continue business as usual and we look forward to another successful season this winter for our guests and the Killington community,” adds Solimano.
Powdr to post bail, will operate Park City this winter
By Karen D. Lorentz
On Sept. 9, Park City Mountain Resort announced that it will post a $17.5 million bond ordered by the court to ensure that the ski resort will operate this winter.
Judge Ryan Harris set the $17.5 million bond amount on Sept. 5 after several postponements and no agreements coming out of the court-ordered third-party mediation regarding the dispute over who has the right to lease the upper mountain terrain.
Jenni Smith, president and general manager of PCMR, commented that paying the bond will “provide our employees, the Park City community and our many guests the certainty they’ve been waiting for about our upcoming season.”
The bond would end in April 2015 with a bond of $19 million to be posted for the 2015-16 season if the dispute is not settled beforehand.
The bond agreement essentially staves off an eviction order that was stayed pending mediation. It also allows PCMR time to appeal the court’s previous ruling that its lease had expired.
Judge Harris’ May ruling regarding the lease expiration had set the stage for Vail Resorts to lease the upper mountain as well as for Talisker/Vail Resorts to file for an eviction of PCMR from the 2,800+ acres it had been leasing from Talisker.
Vail Resorts is overseeing the case on behalf of Talisker Land Holdings, LLC as part of a long-term 2013 agreement to operate the nearby Canyons Resort, which was bought by Talisker in 2008, and which also gives Vail Resorts the lease of PCMR’s upper mountain terrain.
The judge set the bond at an amount far lower than the $124 million Talisker/Vail Resorts had been seeking and considerably above the $1 million to $6.5 million PCMR had argued for.
Judge Harris explained that he based the bond amount on an estimated fair-market-value lease for the land of $5 million per year with damages, interest and attorney fees added on.
Talisker did not object to the bond amount. “We respect the court’s decision and will not be appealing it, even though the amount is below what we asked for and well below what Talisker will continue to seek in damages as the case proceeds,” the attorney for Talisker/Vail stated. Judge Harris also set a date for trial on Sept. 30. The trial is expected to address lease payments and damages from May 1, 2011 to the present.
For Killington and Pico it is business as usual, resort official say. They expect no changes due to the lawsuit. Killington Resort released a statement Tuesday, saying that they are “pleased to share this good news from our sister mountain,” adding that Killington’s 2014/15 Unlimited Season Pass holders will enjoy free ski days at all Powdr resorts, including PCMR.
Powdr Corp, which has a total of eight ski areas, is privately owned by the Cumming family, which formed Powdr in 1994. Its first acquisition, and now headquarters, are located in Park City.
Powdr is reportedly the second-largest owner operator of ski resorts in the U.S. by annual skier visits. Vail Resorts is the largest owner operator based on visits, operates ten ski resorts, and is a publicly held company traded on the NYSE (MTN).