Vail Resorts' Katz: The "right thing" will prevail in Park City lease dispute

By Lea Hartley Team
Apr 16, 2014

By Jason Blevins The Denver Post

BRECKENRIDGE — It was an uncomfortable couple hours for Vail Resorts chief Rob Katz, but he persevered, even laughing for most of the time.

The annual Park City Follies show — where a troupe of locals lambasts and lampoons local leaders and issues in the Utah ski community — this year was named "An Epic Follies," after Vail's popular season pass. The highly contentious lease dispute that has Vail vying to take over Park City Mountain Resort provided rich fodder and swirled around a character playing Katz.

"Sitting in the audience for two hours where you are the primary villain was hard," said Katz, in an interview at the Mountain Travel Symposium in Breckenridge on Sunday. "Putting aside, candidly, all the strife, we are new (in Park City) and I think it's totally appropriate they take their best comedy shot at us."

Speaking publicly for one of the first times on the litigation that pits Powdr Corp.'s Park City Mountain Resort — or PCMR — against Vail Resorts over the future lease of nearly 80 percent PCMR's terrain, Katz said he was hopeful, regardless of the lease litigation, that both sides "would do the right thing."

The right thing seems far away.

Some background:

In spring 2011, Park City Mountain Resort missed its deadline to formally renew its long-term lease for some 3,700-acres with Canadian landowner Talisker Corp. Talisker took the opportunity to raise its lease terms from roughly $155,000 a year, which PCMR had paid since the 1970s, to much more. PCMR refused. Talisker declined to renew the lease. PCMR sued Talisker, arguing it had done everything but file the paperwork to renew the lease.

Enter Vail Resorts, which last spring leased Talisker's 4,000-acre Canyons ski area adjacent to PCMR for $25 million a year, plus a percentage of earnings. The deal had Vail defending Talisker in the PCMR lease lawsuit, giving Vail an opportunity to control the busiest 7,000-plus acres of ski terrain in Utah. Both sides presented their case to a Utah judge earlier this month and a decision on whether PCMR had in effect renewed its lease despite the paperwork delay is expected in June.

Katz said he wasn't stalking PCMR when he courted Talisker for Canyons.

"Our focus at the point really was on the Canyons," Katz said, but Talisker only offered Canyons with a legal battle for PCMR. "His position with us was 'Look if you want to do something with me you've got to do something for both these places. You cannot do something for just the Canyons. There's no question he got us to pay more money for that."

Vail filed an eviction notice to PCMR last fall. Katz offered to buy Powdr Corp.'s base area and parking lots property this spring. Powdr Corp. chief John Cumming rejected the offer, saying he would pull out his chairlifts if Vail prevailed in the lawsuit.

"I think there's a lot of bluster that goes on with litigation but I think when its done everyone is going to do the right thing," Katz said, noting Powdr Corp.'s talk of removing chairlifts from Talisker-owned ski terrain. "You fight the good fight, and if you lose ... not everything goes your way. That's just the way things play out in business. Could be because of a lease issue, could be because of the economy, could be because of different competition. My message to the industry is admit it, accept it and then deal with it and move on. I really believe that will happen here."

Cumming made the decision to not pay Talisker's new terms, Katz said. He chose to pursue litigation with his landlord.

"As a business person, I respect that," Katz said. "But ultimately, at the end of the litigation ... if the courts don't agree with you ... its time to move on and put the community front and center."

Park City welcomed its Olympic athletes home last Saturday!

By Lea Hartley Team
Apr 12, 2014

This past Saturday, Park City held a parade to celebrate its many Olympic athletes. It was a great reminder of how lucky we are to call this town home. The impromptu blizzard added to the celebration, decorating all of our winter athletes with our famous Utah powder.

Check-out this video we shot!

April InTouch Newsletter

By Lea Hartley Team
Apr 01, 2014


Real Estate Market Update


A recent survey of over 50,000 real estate professionals reports a consensus view that home prices will continue to increase moderately this year, at a median rate of 3.9%. Tight credit conditions and conservative family budgeting may limit price increases, but the real estate market will continue to grow in strength.  As evidence of this, properties are currently selling more rapidly -- the median of days on market has dropped to 62.



According to the report, “Access to credit” was often cited as a deterrent to home buying. About 13 percent of REALTORS® who did not close a sale in February reported having clients who could not obtain financing. Other professionals found that the combination of rising prices; higher interest rates; and added fees such as FHA’s up front and continuing mortgage insurance premiums has eroded affordability. Modest job and income growth and difficult underwriting standards have also held off prospective buyers.


Fortunately, Utah’s economy is projected to grow steadily and more rapidly than the national average. The state’s real estate market will most likely experience a 3 to 5% increase in home prices due to a stabilizing economy, statewide business growth, and historically low inventory. 




Prudential Utah Real Estate lists and sells more exceptional Park City properties than any other brokerage in the area. We know how to price, market and negotiate extraordinary homes. Please contact your Prudential Realtor® to sell or find your Park City home.


Development News


Juniper Landing is a luxury community located at the lively base of Canyons Resort, just 35 minutes away from Salt Lake International airport. Juniper Landing residents enjoy private ski-in/ski-out access to Canyons Resort (one of the top ten resorts in North America) and are within walking distance to free live concerts, fine-dining options, the farmer’s market, and other special events.


These modern residences feature granite finishes, vaulted ceilings, private two-car garages, central air conditioning, Viking® appliances, fireplace living areas, individual hot tubs, and come fully furnished. 



Market Area Spotlight


Upper Deer Valley   


Upper Deer Valley’s market remains robust. While home prices continue to increase, condominiums are selling for less than last year, making them good investment options. Since January, Upper Deer Valley homes have had an average selling price of $6,400,000, up from $3,200,000 at the same time last year. In contrast, sold condominiums had an average selling price of $1,200,000, which is down from $1,700,000 last year.  



Stein Eriksen Residences Update


Stein Eriksen Residences have seen a tremendous amount of activity since their initial winter release and are offering new additional product. Due to the success of the previous reservation phase, developers have decided to release the final building. The current 37 reservations are expected to convert to purchase contracts in June, and the project will be constructed en masse with no phasing starting this summer. Completion for the condominium buildings is estimated at twenty months. Contact your local Prudential agent for more information.  




For more information, visit


Park City Community News


Spring arrived in time for the 7th Annual Spring Gruv Pond Skimming competition at the Canyons Resort. Competitors wore outrageous costumes and wielded elaborate props to the delight of the large crowd of enthusiastic spectators. A few contestants managed to cross the length of the constructed pond while others elected to make a splash entrance. The annual Gruv event marks the beginning of the spring season calendar of events.



More Spring Events:


4/5 Olympic Parade of Athletes Main Street, Park City, 5pm

4/9 - 4/13 IFSA North American Junior Championships at Snowbird Resort 

4/18 - 4/20 Utah Barrel Racing Association Summer Series 415 Southfield Rd., Heber City

4/20 Park City Mountain Resort’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Celebration 

4/26 Red Butte Gardens Tree Tour - Red Butte Gardens, 10-11:30 am


For more on upcoming Park City events:



© 2014 BRER Affiliates LLC. Real Estate brokerage services are offered through the independently owned and operated network of broker member franchisees of BRER Affiliates LLC. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential.


Equal Housing Opportunity. 

Prudential Utah Real Estate
890 Main Street  |  Park City, Utah 84060  |  435.649.7171  


Seven Resorts in Utah Announce Possible Connection

By Lea Hartley Team
Mar 23, 2014


SAM Magazine--Salt Lake City, Utah, March 19, 2014--Ski Utah and representatives from Alta, Brighton, Canyons, Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR), Snowbird, and Solitude held a news conference today at Ski Utah’s headquarters to announce their support for an over-the-snow connection between all seven resorts via chairlift and ski run called ONE Wasatch.

Utah’s central Wasatch Mountains are home to seven mountain resorts in close proximity to one another. Connecting these resorts over-the-snow via chairlift and ski run would allow access to over 18,000 skiable acres, 100 lifts and more that 750 runs and all on one lift ticket. The proposed plan calls for connecting Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, connecting Big Cottonwood to PCMR, connecting PCMR and Canyons, and dropping the rope between Deer Valley PCMR.

ONE Wasatch is a concept, not a plan. At this time, resort partners have no specific execution timelines or chairlift alignments. The goal of ONE Wasatch is to establish a vision for a one-of-a-kind mountain experience by providing information, outlining the process, encouraging dialog and listening to feedback. Dialog and feedback are sure to come, too; local environmental groups and backcountry advocates have already expressed skepticism about the concept.

Several other problems face this plan. The first is the fact that two of the resorts in the plan do not allow snowboarding at the moment (Deer Valley and Alta). The second is the lease battle between Vail Resorts and Park City Mountain Resort, which has yet to be resolved, though key court dates in April might settle the matter.

Still, the Utah resorts are optimistic. “Connecting seven of Utah’s finest ski resorts while preserving both our water quality and a pristine backcountry experience is not an impossible task,” said Nathan Rafferty, president and CEO of Ski Utah. “With thoughtful planning and sincere cooperation, ONE Wasatch would add significantly to what is already one of the greatest ski destinations in the world.”

For more information on the plan, check out

Kimball Art Center Expansion & Renovation

By Lea Hartley Team
Mar 14, 2014



We wanted to share with you Kimball Art Center's plans for building expansion! Below is information from their website. For more information, including basic plans and renderings, click here. For more detailed plans and renderings, click here.

The new building design is perfectly aligned with the Kimball Art Center’s mission of presenting engaging art exhibitions, educational opportunities, and events.

    • The new building is designed to comply with Park City’s Land Management Code.
      • The new design adds a 15,000 square foot addition onto the existing Kimball Art Center building. We do not anticipate making any changes to the exterior walls of the existing Kimball Building. 
    • In addition to the preservation of the existing building, the new 15,000 sq. ft. expansion will provide:
      • The Kimball Art Center with over 9,000 square feet of museum/exhibition space.
      • Large social areas.
      • Flexible use areas.
      The renovation of the existing building will create spaces for:
      • A Children’s Interactive Discovery Center.
      • An educational studio.
      • Additional administrative spaces.
      • Much needed support areas.

March 2014 : Park City Real Estate & Community Update

By Lea Hartley Team
Mar 12, 2014

March newsletter

Ski Resort Fight Over Park City Mountain

By Lea Hartley Team
Feb 15, 2014




By Jane Paskin of

The best way to get from Main Street in Park City onto the slopes of Park City Mountain is to climb two flights of stairs to the top of a parking garage, put on your skis, and board the Town Lift for a 15-minute ride to midmountain. From the three-person chairlift, you can see the entire town of Park City (pop. 7,800) behind you, including the old-fashioned marquee of the tiny Egyptian Theater, which becomes the focus of international attention when the Sundance Film Festival comes to town for 10 days every January. Park City proudly considers itself more sophisticated and fun than the rest of Utah, home not only to Sundance but also to a brewing company that makes and sells Polygamy Porter (“Take some home for the wives”) and to Utah’s first distillery since the 1870s. It’s a place so appealing that jet-setters from both Hollywood and the Republican Party can vacation side by side in peace. Will Smith and Mitt Romney own homes there; Taylor Swift has come for Christmas.

Silver mining put Park City on the map in the late 1800s, but now its chief asset, outside of Robert Redford, is its three ski resorts and thousands of skiable acres. Park City Mountain, at the center of it all, gets as much snow as Colorado’s biggest resorts, with fewer crowds. On a recent visit at the start of the season, there were no lift lines, and the only sound was the steady hum of chairlift motors, punctuated by the holler of a skier or the dull whoomp of snow falling off trees. For 50 years, Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) has operated those lifts, groomed the slopes, patrolled the bowls. The resort celebrated its golden anniversary in December with a funk band and fireworks. It has also declared its intent to run the mountain for another 50 years. At the moment, that future is very much in doubt.

PCMR doesn’t own all of Park City Mountain. Just up from the base of the Town Lift, an unmarked boundary divides the land that the resort owns around the base from the rest of the land, which it leased until recently from United Park City Mines. In 2003 a Canadian company called Talisker purchased United Park City Mines and, with it, the resort company’s lease. The rent was about $155,000 per year, with an option to renew every 20 years until 2051. (Talisker declined to comment for this story.)

Click here for full article.


Park City Resort Marks 50 Years On The Slopes

By Lea Hartley Team
Dec 11, 2013

Park City • After 50 years in business, skiers — and now snowboarders — keep coming to Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR).

By Jennifer Napier-Pearce

The Salt Lake Tribune


(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Skiers and snowboarders at Park City Mountain Resort Saturday November 23, 2013. Park City Mountain Resort opening day marks 50 years in business.
A steady stream of vehicles flowed onto Park City’s Silver King Drive early Saturday, packing the parking lot by 10 a.m. on opening day. PCMR president and general manager Jenni Smith, who grew up skiing at the resort, said hitting the 50-year mark is something to celebrate.

"It’s a big milestone for the company, it’s a big milestone for a lot of the employees," some of whom have worked at the resort since the beginning, Smith said. "The passion and the love that we all have for this sport as well as this place is still just as fresh as it was 35 years ago when I started here."

The former Treasure Mountain Resort has come a long way from its start in 1963 when it had just a gondola, a chairlift, two lodges and a 9-hole golf course. Now with 116 runs, 19 lifts and multiple lodges, shops and restaurants, PCMR has become a world-class resort and the economic backbone of this former mining town.

Read more

Vail’s here: Moving Utah skiing into the big time

By Lea Hartley Team
Dec 08, 2013

Ski industry » Colorado company’s move into Utah brings expectations, uncertainty.

By Mike Gorrell

The Salt Lake Tribune



File photo (Lynn DeBruin, AP) Vail Resorts, Inc. takes over this season as the manager of Canyons Resort, Utah's largest ski area in terms of acreage and the site of the U.S. Grand Prix, a snowboardcross event.
Few doubt that Vail Resorts’ presence in Utah will elevate the state’s ski industry to a new level, bringing more money and respect to the wondrous Wasatch Mountains.

But the industry giant’s arrival also has been unusually fractious among Utah’s historically harmonious collection of 14 independently owned resorts, each with its own niche.

No sooner was Vail introduced May 29 as the new operator of Canyons Resort than it took a lead role in litigation that theoretically could shut down neighboring Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR).

That sent jitters through Park City. The whole Utah ski community took note, knowing there are broader ripple effects from what happens in that three-resort hub — Deer Valley being the third — for the destination skier crowd.

And while Vail has said it has no plans to act on an eviction notice delivered Aug. 28 to PCMR, there is still great uncertainty about what will emerge from the lawsuit.

Will there be two independently owned resorts? Or will Canyons and PCMR end up as one giant resort controlled by Vail and Talisker Corp., which owns Canyons and most of the mountainside PCMR leased for the past 50 years — a lease PCMR allegedly failed to renew on time.

John Cumming, chief executive of PCMR’s parent company, PowdrCorp., denies that such a lapse occurred. He pleaded his case in the court of public opinion two weeks ago with a guest editorial in the Park Record newspaper, telling Vail and Talisker "their efforts to take over PCMR are futile and not in the best interests of the community."

Blaise Carrig, who oversees Vail’s operations in Utah as president of the company’s mountain division, rejected any caricature of Vail as a big bully coming into Park City and pushing the locals around.

Read more

Once a lightning rod, Park City's Main Street Mall aims to blend in

By Lea Hartley Team
Nov 26, 2013

Architect aims to make 1980s building compatible with Main Street 

David Hampshire, The Park Record

If you were hoping to see it festooned with reproductions of mining-era storefronts, you'll be disappointed. It's clearly a contemporary building. Still.

But if you're one of those - like 40-year local resident Tina Lewis - who believe that buildings shouldn't pretend to be older than they really are, chances are you'll find things to like in the new design.

You're looking at an architect's rendition for 333 Main, the building formerly known as the Main Street Mall. In its original early-1980s configuration, the building drew flak for its size and its design. Many people said it didn't belong on Main Street - and were not unhappy to see demolition crews setting up this fall for the first phase of a long-awaited renovation.

"It will be interesting to see people's reaction to it when, in fact, it is also modern architecture," says Tina Lewis, who was on the Park City Council when the original design was approved. "It is not replicative architecture."

Lewis is a former board member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which describes itself as "a privately funded nonprofit organization working to save America's historic places." She argues passionately that new buildings in a historic district should reflect the time when they were built. She points to the Egyptian Theatre, now the unofficial symbol of the Sundance Film Festival, which was built while the nation was still obsessed with the discovery of King Tut's tomb. What would that building have looked like, she asks, if Parkites of the 1920s had instead insisted on replicating a structure of an earlier era?

"A hundred years from now, when people walk along Main Street, hopefully they will see architecture from all the eras of Park City's history, from the City Hall in the 1880s to the Egyptian Theatre in the 1920s to the art deco Memorial Building (in the late 1930s)," she says.

Read more:

An architect's rendering of the new Main Street façade of 333 Main, the building formerly known as the Main Street Mall. The owners, Watt Investment Partners of Santa Monica, Calif., hope to see the street-level commercial space open by December 2014. Image courtesy of Elliott Workgroup.

20131122__2 malltwo~p1


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