In the latest episode of what has now become the worst break up in ski history, the CEO's of Powdr Corp. and Vail Resorts are engaging in a pen pal battle to the death. Each side has turned to public letters to explain their rationale and insult the opposition. So how did we get to this war of words between two of the most powerful men in the ski industry? Curbed Ski breaks down what the PCMR/Powdr Corp - Talisker/Vail Resorts feud is all about.
A long, long time ago, the Powdr-Corp. owned Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) was a happy place that leased much of its skiable terrain from Talisker Land Holdings, the company that also owns the nearby Canyons Resort.
In 2011, the lease (which was for a paltry annual sum of $155,000), was up for renewal. Now is where things get hairy. PCMR claims they they renewed the lease properly, but documents released in the current lawsuit allegedly show that PCMR filed the renewal two days after the April 30 deadline.
In the spring of 2012, PCMR filed a lawsuit against Talisker, claiming that they had met the conditions for a lease extension as outlined in the original agreement. Talisker, meanwhile, wanted a new lease, and turned to Vail Resorts (which now operates the Canyons).
Et voila: In grossly oversimplified terms, that is how all of Park City ended up embroiled in a battle between PCMR/Powdr. Corp and Talisker/Vail. (We know, we know, a bunch of other things happened. But we're going for a quick run down. If you want to know more, head over here).
On one side is Powdr CEO John Cumming, famous for quotes claiming that Vail is about to take over PCMR and that this would be "terribly tragic" for Park City.
And on the other side is the prolific letter-writing Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz, whose main goal is to present Vail as a big, cuddly teddy bear (read: ignore anything that could go wrong).
We're not sure who is running their companies, because it seems like these days both men spend most of their time writing letters to each other. In Katz's latest letter from April 15, the CEO is a bit wounded that he hasn't received a direct response to his last labor of love. The newest letter goes on for 3 pages, but Katz doesn't really add anything new to the discussion. He emphasizes that there are many situations where two or more resorts in the same community are operated by the same company, and that Vail is ready and willing to "discuss things further." Multiple times the CEO assures his readers that he thinks Powdr Corp will eventually "do the right thing" (read: do what Vail wants).
Cumming hasn't had enough time to write a response to Katz's latest novel, but Powdr Corp. did release a statement saying Cumming "will respond to Rob Katz's letter promptly and in detail." And of course the statement had to add in a few key phrases about a "Vail takeover."
So that's it, Curbediverse. This entire lawsuit has now been reduced to wealthy CEO's hashing it out like feuding pen pals in a very public forum. I guess we're grateful that in the most recent flurry of mail, no one threatened to dismantle any ski lifts (that was last week's drama). Anyone else want to ditch the letters and see a good 'ol fashioned ski-off?
· Vail CEO: Powdr Corp. will eventually 'do the right thing' [Park Record]
· Park City Will Dismantle & Remove Lifts if it Loses Lawsuit [Curbed Ski]
· Lawsuit Forces Park City to Include Refund Caveat on Passes [Curbed Ski]
· All PCMR-Talisker Coverage [Curbed Ski Archives]