Vail Buys Park City Mountain Resort

Sep 11, 2014

After a 20-year run operating Park City Mountain Resort, the resort's owner Powdr Corp. sold its flagship ski area for $182.5 million to Vail Resorts today. Leslie Thatcher has more.

While it’s something he never hoped to do, John Cumming the CEO of Powdr Corp. emailed the sale announcement just five minutes before the news of the acquisition came from Vail Resorts headquarters.

Now, instead of paying out $17.5 million required by the bond that set by the judge in order to operate this winter, Powdr Corp. will have nine times that amount in its bank account.

In a prepared statement, Cumming said while selling was the last thing he wanted to do – and while he believes the law around this issues should be changed – the protracted legal battle isn’t in line with his company’s core values.  A sale he said was the only way to provide long-term certainly for PCMR employees and the Park City community.

Cumming added that he and his family are extremely grateful for the opportunity they had in making PCMR what it is today and they appreciate the dedicated employees and all of the people who have supported them over the years.

The settlement with Vail Resorts stipulates that Vail must retain PCMR employees in their current roles.  However, PCMR president Jenni Smith has announced her resignation.  Her last day is today. 

The acquisition includes all of the assets of Greater Park City Company, the land used for ski terrain at the resort held by Ian Cumming, certain base parking lots owned by Powdr Development Corp. – which have been approved for 687,000-square feet of residential and commercial development.

The acquisition does not include the Gorgoza tubing operation, located off of Interstate 80.

Rob Katz – the CEO and chairman of Vail Resorts – was quoted as saying he’s very pleased to bring a permanent end to the dispute and provide assurance to the guests and employees of PCMR and everyone in the Park City Community.  He added this has been a difficult period to everyone involved commended Cumming and Powdr Corp. for helping to find a solution to this situation.

Blaise Carrig, President of Vail Resorts, will act as interim chief operating officer for the resort. Mountain operations for PCMR and Canyons will remain separate for this ski season, but PCMR will be added to the company’s EPIC pass program, which will now offer skiers access to 22 resorts this year. All PCMR passes for this season will be honored and can be exchanged or upgraded for a season pass that will also be valid at Canyons. According to Vail Resorts statement, the Epic Pass and the Epic Local Pass will be valid at PCMR.  However, on snow.com, where EPIC passes can be purchased, they report that Epic Local Pass access to Park City will be announced in the coming weeks.

Talisker – the property owner of the land that has been in dispute the last three years – also weighed in today’s news.  Talisker attorney John Lund wrote, “Talisker is extremely pleased that Vail Resorts has reached a long-term solution with PCMR, and we look forward to Vail providing a world-class mountain experience for the guests, employees, residents and business owners of Park City.  We appreciate the faith and confidence that everyone placed in the judicial process to bring the parties to this outcome.”