According to PCMR's attorney Alan Sullivan, Talisker's agreement with Vail that allows the Colorado-based resort corporation to seek control of 3,700 acres of ski terrain adjacent to Park City violates the 1971 lease agreement between PCMR and United Park City Mines, which was purchased by Talisker.
This spring, Talisker announced that Canyons Resort would be operated by Vail for $25 million per year. Talisker also acknowledged that Vail would litigate the case against PCMR with the potential, depending on the legal outcome, that Vail could control ski acreage at PCMR.
Talisker "basically sold the land [that PCMR leases] to Vail," Sullivan said. "Vail has the right to collect rents ... and unilaterally sell the property. ... It has all the indications of ownership."
That deal should have been offered to PCMR first, according to the lease agreement, Sullivan said.
Attorneys for Talisker and Vail, however, hold that the lease Sullivan referred to was null and void when PCMR executives missed the April 30, 2011, lease renewal deadline.
John Lund, who represents Talisker, could not be reached for an interview. But he did release this prepared statement:
"The judge granted PCMR's motion to amend its complaint. We respect the judge's ruling today and we understand that PCMR has the right to file additional claims. This claim is completely without merit and we are confident we will prevail on it as well."
The upshot of Wednesday's ruling, Sullivan said, is that PCMR, through the discovery process, can now delve into the negotiations between Talisker and Vail that led to the agreement that gives Vail operations control of Canyons Resort and the potential to operate a ski resort next door at what is now PCMR.
"We now get to include the history of negotiations between Vail and Talisker to see what happened," Sullivan said. "It's an important step forward [for PCMR]."