In a surprise move, Vail Resorts offered to buy Park City Mountain Resort’s base area and parking lots this week.
The buyout offer comes just days before the two companies head to trial over a lease dispute that could leave Vail in control of the Utah ski resort.
On Tuesday, Vail Resorts chief Rob Katz sent a five-page letter to John Cumming, CEO of Park City Mountain Resort’s parent company. In the letter, he promised “fair market value for any of the assets you have that would be helpful for us in operating the resort.”
But Cumming responded that his company “won’t agree to a Vail takeover.”
“We have repeatedly made it clear to Vail that PCMR is interested in exploring all possible solutions that will preserve the independence of PCMR as the nation’s premier family ski resort,” he wrote.
When Vail took over the operation of Canyons last year, it also inherited a lease dispute between Talisker Corporation and Park City Mountain Resort. Canada-based Talisker—which owns Canyons and a large section of PCMR land—argues that the family-owned resort failed to properly renew its lease.
PCMR disagreed and sued Talisker in 2012. The plot thickened last August when Vail Resorts filed an eviction notice demanding that PCMR get off Talisker-owned land.
The fate of the Utah ski resort will ultimately be decided in the upcoming trial. District court hearings are scheduled for April 3 and 8.