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Park City • In its quest to own the "Park City" name, Vail's name is, well, mud.
At least with about 250 residents who rallied Wednesday in front of City Hall to protest the Colorado-based corporation's application to trademark the name "Park City."
They held placards that read "Park City: Our Town, Our Name" and "Just Say No to Vail-ed Threats."
Singer Tony Oros led the crowd in a rendition of the Beatles' "Revolution" and other protest songs. He even tweaked the lyrics to "The Ballad of John and Yoko" to say, "The way things are going, they're going to crucify P.C."
The trademark application has been filed. The deadline for objections was July 9, but Park City Hall has sought a 60-day extension.
An online petition against Vail Resorts' application has garnered 2,300 signatures.
The rally took place as Vail CEO Robert Katz met with Mayor Jack Thomas inside City Hall.
"Park City was built on 130 years of blood, sweat and tears," former Mayor Dana Williams told the crowd. "And it wasn't theirs," he said, referring to Vail.
Williams urged the demonstrators to keep up the fight all the way to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "It's important for us to speak with a collective voice.
Fifteen-year Park City resident Becky Yih said she wouldn't mind if Vail wanted to trademark "Park City Mountain Resort."
"But I don't want them to trademark 'Park City,' " she said. "And I want the mayor and City Council to know how we feel."
Tensions have been growing over the issue for a month or more. Vail representatives said residents and businesses in the area that use the Park City name would not be harmed. And they said they would put it in writing.
But earlier this month, when the mayor and the council created such a contract, Vail representatives refused to sign.
In a news release last week, Thomas said he was disappointed Vail didn't follow through.
"Park City," the release said, "sought to simply memorialize Vail's commitments to 1. Not oppose existing municipal and local businesses use of 'Park City'; 2. Broadly allow third parties in the future to use 'Park City'; 3. Eliminate confusion with existing municipal and local business signage, advertising and other coexistence uses."
Vail took over nearby Canyons Resort in 2013 in an agreement with Talisker Corp. It then acquired Park City Mountain Resort in 2014 after a protracted legal dispute with Powdr Corp. Since then, Vail has pumped $50 million of improvements into the resorts, which are now joined as the nation's largest ski area.
That union helped boost business this past winter during a record-setting ski season.
But Vail's promise to be a good community partner falls flat with resident Gary Cohen.
"Park City is our party, and everybody is welcome," he said. "But nobody is welcome to take it over."
Another resident, Gary Lawton, said Vail is earning a bad reputation.
"They were able to steal Park City Mountain Resort," he said. "But we won't let them steal this town."
Nonetheless, Vail already has begun its new marketing strategy, dumping the Park City Mountain Resort brand for the shorter "Park City."
Earlier, Kristin Williams, vice president of mountain community affairs for Vail Resorts, said the corporation will make every effort to safeguard businesses and reduce confusion by distinguishing between the municipality and the ski resort where appropriate such as in radio spots advertising activities.
She noted, however, that the place formerly known as Park City Mountain Resort always has been synonymous with the Park City label in skiing circles and national marketing.
After the Katz-Thomas meeting Wednesday, a city spokesman said no agreement was reached, but added that talks will continue.
The Vail CEO called the meeting productive and reaffirmed the company's commitment to ensure area businesses aren't affected by the trademark pursuit.
"We recognize that we will be longtime partners in this community and we are both willing to take more time to look for solutions to address community concerns," Katz said in a statement. "We very much appreciate everyone's feedback on this issue and respect everyone's right to have their voices heard."