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Utah business lawyers struck by judge’s ruling over Park City Mountain Resort land

July 9, 2014

 

An ongoing battle between two resort property giants in the mountain community of Park City has been decided by a ruling from a Summit County judge—at least for now. KSL reports that Park City Mountain Resort has lost to Talisker Land Holdings, but has received a stay of eviction order until August 27. That gives the two local giants less than two months to sort out their differences before PCMR gets the boot, according to Utah business lawyers analyzing the situation.

The problem seems to be pretty straightforward—Park City Mountain Resort did not renew its lease on the land in time. With the agreements in place, that means that the land goes to Talisker for the rights to use. But PCMR’s Utah business lawyers argue that it’s not as simple as it seems, and the impact on Utah’s tourism economy could be in the millions of dollars. While that argument may be persuasive for the public, it didn’t sway Third Judicial District Judge Ryan Harris, who ruled in favor of Talisker after a two-year ongoing battle over the terrain.

According to KSL’s report, Talisker owns a majority of the land, but PCMR owns the base, several ski lifts and water rights, which are crucial to the running of the resort currently in operation there. Judge Harris knows what’s at stake for the community, and Utah business lawyers like Zaven Sargsian would agree that the order for mediation for the parties was a good move, because if Talisker and PCMR can reach some sort of agreement by August 15, it would be for the benefit of PCMR’s employees and the Park City community in which PCMR has been a decades-long constant.

For now, PCMR is on a short leash, with the eviction order temporarily stayed, but the resort is all too aware that Talisker is holding all the cards, despite what its attorneys have been arguing in court or the public outcry erupting in local yard signs, town meetings, editorial posts in local new papers and online blogging protests to “Save Park City Mountain Resort.” Ultimately, Utah business lawyers like Sargsian could argue, it was up to PCMR to save itself, and by not renewing its lease on time, it landed itself in the mess in which it now finds the whole of the resort base and hundreds of employees.

“We are confident that there are a lot of smart business people here who can find a resolution to this,” said Talisker attorney John Lund, who was brutally honest when he drove home the point PCMR doesn’t want to hear: “The main obstacle to us is these folks not understanding the reality of losing their lease.”

If PCMR and Talisker can’t make a deal by August 15, Judge Harris will make a decision on the 27 about whether the eviction stands, how long PCMR has to move off the land and whether and how much it owes to Talisker in restitution. One thing is for sure, if PCMR is forced to vacate, the Park City community will be challenged to adjust to the change.

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