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Vail Resorts on Saturday said it would no longer pursue a trademark of the name "Park City," ending a dispute that had riled the ski town.
The company issued a statement Saturday from its chief operating officer, Bill Rock.
"... This has clearly become a distraction," Rock's statement said, "that is pulling our collective focus away from the important work that lies ahead for our city on critical issues, such as affordable housing, parking and transit, among others. As such, we have decided to withdraw our trademark application in an effort to move beyond this concern."
The statement went on to say that Park City Mountain Resort, which Vail owns and operates in the town of the same name, would change the signage on its vehicles so they would not be confused with municipal vehicles.
Former Park City Mayor Dana Williams, who lead local opposition to the trademark, said Saturday Vail's decision made him "ecstatic." He credited the residents who spoke out and Vail for listening to them.
"I'm proud of the 20-somethings in town that showed up," Williams said. "A lot of them were born here, and I think for a lot of them it was kind of the first political thing they got involved in."
Williams hoped Vail's shift also signaled a change in the way it works with the community to market the resort and the town, and to not imply that they are one in the same.
"What we would like [Vail] to do is run ads that say, 'Come to Park City Mountain Resort in the heart of beautiful Park City, Utah,'" Williams said.
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.
Powdr Corp in 2014 filed the trademark application for the name "Park City" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Rock's statement said. In recent months, Park City's mayor, city council, the Summit County Council and residents voiced concern that if granted, Colorado-based Vail could use the trademark to force other local businesses to change their names.
About 250 residents rallied Wednesday in front of City Hall as Vail CEO Robert Katz met with Park City Mayor Jack Thomas.
After the announcement from Vail, Thomas issued his own statement. He praised Vail's decision and thanked the local politicians who opposed the trademark.
"I appreciate all of the work that Bill has done in and for this community and I look forward to the good work we and our teams will do together in the coming weeks, months and years," Thomas said.