With the clock ticking down towards a Friday deadline, the company that owns the bottom of Park City's most popular ski resort has agreed to pay a $17.5 million bond to maintain access to the top for one more season.
"I am very happy that the resort will be open this year," said Jenni Smith, president and general Manager of PCMR in a statement.
Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR), owned by Powdr, run by the wealthy Cumming family, has agreed to pay a $17.5 million bond to Talisker, the landlord at the top, as both continue battling inside court and in mediation. PCMR had long rented access to the top of the resort for $155,000 a year, but in 2011 the lease lapsed.
Talisker found a far more valuable tenant in Vail Resorts, which signed on to pay $25 million a year for both the top of Park City Mountain Resort and all of the Canyons resort next door. PCMR faced eviction, went to court, and lost. John Cumming threatened to ban access to the top of the mountain from his property at the bottom, even considering tearing out lifts and putting in a winter ski park instead.
The city feared the loss of a ski season at its main resort would have devastating effects on the local economy. Last week, a judge ruled that in order to keep this season open, PCMR would have to put up a bond to cover at least three times what he thought normal rent should be. Judge Ryan Harris also ruled that next spring, if there was still no resolution, PCMR would have to pay another $19 million bond for one more year.
"Our goal has always been to keep PCMR open for the upcoming 2014/15 season and beyond," Smith said. "Paying the bond ordered by the judge will provide our employees, the Park City community and our many guests the certainty they've been waiting for about our upcoming ski season."
—By CNBC's Jane Wells