Canyons Resort

Vail Resorts has announced it has signed a long-term, 50-year lease, to operate Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah. It’s Vail’s second attempt to gain a big Utah foothold and this one worked out.


The lease has six, 50-year renewal options attached to it and Canyons becomes the company’s 10th ski resort in five states. Vail has assumed all operations of Canyons, while Talisker retains development rights for four million square feet of resort real estate.


Reports are Vail Resorts will pay Talisker Corp. at least $25 million per year to operate Canyons. Increases will be based on inflation. VR will also pay 42 percent of its earnings over $35 million. Projections are for a profit of $15 million in 2014, rising to $25 million by 2017. Canyons will be included in Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass program.


Vail Resorts failed in its bid to buy Canyons from the now defunct American Ski Company in 2007 when ASC surprised the ski world and, most certainly, Vail Resorts by selling Canyons to Talisker, a privately held global real estate company based in Toronto, Canada.


VR fought for an injunction to halt the sale, claiming they had already negotiated a deal to buy Canyons, but Talisker’s consultants, Peninsula Advisors, LLC, undermined the deal. Vail eventually filed court papers saying it would not go after Talisker.


The Canyons deal is somewhat similar to the lease arrangement Vail Resorts has with CNL to operate Northstar Resort at Lake Tahoe, Calif., and its resort-only acquisition of Kirkwood. will follow this story shortly with more details about the effect of the sale on projects like the proposed backcountry link to Little Cottonwood Canyon, community comments, and other issues.


Photo: Canyons Resort, Utah