Talisker Relinquishes Controlling Interest At Canyons Resort

By Jim Barth
Jun 27, 2013

Picture of Canyons Resort near Deer Valley UtahBreaking news: According to the Park Record, Talisker has relinquished its controlling interest at Canyons Resort.  The resort is located in Park City, UT, home of both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort.  The article reads as follows:

“Talisker is no longer in charge of development at Canyons Resort.

Summit County Manager Bob Jasper told councilmembers on Wednesday that an interim manager has taken over for Talisker Canyons Finance LLC, the company formed when Talisker purchased Canyons from American Skiing Company Utah in 2007.

According to Jasper, the interim manager is Alvarez & Marsal. On the company's web site, the firm is described as a specialist in ‘turnaround and interim management’ that ‘is known for its distinctive restructuring heritage.’

Jasper said the county's biggest concern revolves around the outstanding obligations that Talisker agreed to in exchange for development rights at Canyons. Those obligations include a golf course, convention center, a transit plan and affordable housing, he said.

‘At this stage we don't have a developer, we have an interim manager,’ Jasper said, adding he would remain firm in enforcing those requirements.

Jasper admitted the financial restructuring at this point is unclear. He said Alvarez & Marsal was brought in by one of the investors involved with Talisker Canyons Finance LLC.

Jasper also said another entity had been formed last month as part of Vail's agreement to take over management of the Canyons. In that agreement Vail obtained a 50-year lease to manage the resort but Talisker retained development rights.

The council members' responses were mixed but council member Chris Robinson advised against overreacting.

‘We have a deal regardless of ownership,’ he said, adding, ‘It might be better.’

In addition to property at Canyons, the Canada-based real estate firm, Talisker, has developed projects in Empire Canyon and on the East Side of Summit County. Talisker representatives did not respond to The Park Record's requests for a comment.”

We’ll keep you posted as more updates occur.

Park City Among T+L Best Ski Towns

By Nancy Barth
Apr 28, 2013

Picture of Main Street in Park City Utah near Deer Valley UtahTravel + Leisure Magazine added Park City to its list of “America’s Best Ski Towns.” The December 2012 featured a list of 11 towns and included Park City for its charming Main Street, wealth of culinary options, and proximity to seven major ski resorts, including Deer Valley Resort.

According to the article: “Nearly a million annual visitors descend on Park City, whose Main Street still has the rugged good looks of a 19th-century western mining town. It puts skiers in easy reach of mountain resorts, hosts the Sundance Film Festival, and has become a culinary hotbed. The ski-in distillery High West Distillery & Saloon offers customized flights of craft creations paired with dishes like Kentucky whiskey beer cheese and bourbon three-onion soup. The seasonal tasting menu at Talisker on Main incorporates vegetables and herbs grown on its rooftop, while the Canyons’ Bistro restaurant is the first and only certified kosher restaurant at a U.S. ski resort. With the restoration of the 1889 Washington School House into a 12-room hotel, you’ve got a new home base—plus complimentary transportation to your preferred slopes.”

Other resorts on the list included Telluride, CO, Bend, OR and Taos, NM.  To read more of the article, please click America's Best Ski Towns article.


By Nancy Barth
Apr 06, 2012

The Park City and Deer Valley areas were recently featured in an article in The San Francisco Chronicle, the leading newspaper in the San Francisco Bay area. Please click here to check out this great article about a few days spent skiing at our resorts.

Park City Mountain Resort/Talisker Still At Impasse Over Lease

By Jim Barth
Mar 28, 2012

Both sides claim they want to reach a quick settlement.

According to recent reports, Canyons Managing Director Mike Goar was stunned by the announcement two weeks ago that Park City Mountain Resort had filed a lawsuit against them.

Goar, who is acting as Canyons spokesperson, indicated that Canyons found out about the lawsuit from the media.  "That was shocking," Goar said, adding that his side believed negotiations over the lease agreement were ongoing. He reiterated this week that the offer to continue talks was still open, despite the lawsuit.

But that is not how Park City Mountain Resort sees it.

According to Park City Mountain Resort President and General Manager Jenni Smith, "We filed the lawsuit to protect ourselves because they (Talisker) had stopped responding. Our last offer they did not respond to. We had made numerous attempts to reach them and, when they stopped responding, we felt like we had no option. We had to protect ourselves and protect our employees and our business."

Still, she said, "We would welcome the opportunity to have a meaningful settlement discussion with Talisker. We would be happy to get back at the table. We are more than willing to talk with them."

An interesting article that I read in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal provided a profile on Paul Mathews, founder of Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners, a highly respected international ski resort planner.  The article discussed Mathews work around the world, including his work at Rosa Khutor Alpine Ski Resort, which is soon to become the site of the Winter Olympics near Sochi, Russia.  The article had him pictured at Canyons Resort surveying the resort and surrounding area and providing input on the resort’s overall design.  One of his finding was that a key problem at Canyons is a misplaced gondola, which would cost $3 million to move to a more appropriate location.

Is there a connection between the ensuing legal battle between Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons, the proposed Skilink between Canyons and Solitude and the work being done by Ecosign on the overall layout of Canyons?  I have no idea.  However, it does make you wonder…

We will continue to blog on this interesting news.


WOW - Is It The End Of An Era At Park City Mountain Resort?

By Jim Barth
Mar 10, 2012

This past Friday, Park City Mountain Resort filed a lawsuit against Talisker Land Holdings, LLC, claiming that Talisker must stop from interfering with PCMR and its operations.

 In the past decade, Canadian-based Talisker, who owns and operates Canyons Resort, took ownership of vast land holdings in the Park City area that were once under the control of United Park City Mines. PCMR operates on some of that land as does Deer Valley. United Park City Mines is also named as a defendant in the case.

 It is our understanding that in late 2011, the ground lease, which dates back to 1971, and allows PCMR to operate its resort on the Talisker land, expired.  PCMR was unable to negotiate an extension to their lease.  Further, it appears that, in consideration of any lease extension, Talisker was insisting on obtaining commitments from PCMR on investment in infrastructure, additional business opportunities, and a connection of the lift system at PCMR to Canyons Resort.     

This is very interesting news indeed regarding the PCMR lease expiration.  Combine this news with the ongoing interconnect plan that Talisker has been aggressively pursuing with Solitude.  Could this potentially result in the creation of that long desired mega resort which would boast the greatest amount of skiable terrain of any ski resort in North America?  Time will tell.

Talisker provided the following response to the PCMR lawsuit: 

"PCMR’s lease of Talisker’s land expired in 2011. Talisker has offered PCMR new lease terms, and the parties have been in discussions regarding such new lease terms, which are subject to an agreement of confidentiality.

 We had hoped to reach terms on the new lease that would be fair to both parties. Unfortunately it appears that PCMR is attempting to use litigation to better its position, and avoid reaching a mutually fair outcome.

 At no time in these negotiations has Talisker contemplated or threatened to close Park City Mountain. We believed the negotiations were continuing and we are disappointed by PCMR's action today."

 We will continue to keep you posted as this evolving story unfolds.