Sale of The Canyons Plunges Into Legal Limbo (updated)

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Publish Date

08/08/2007

SAM Magazine-Park City, Utah, Aug. 8, 2007-Recriminations are swirling around the $100 million July 15 sale agreement that would transfer The Canyons from American Skiing Company (ASC) to Talisker Corp. For the moment, the sale is on hold, perhaps until a Colorado court rules on a temporary injunction by Oct. 1. But eventual resolution of all the issues entangling The Canyons may not come until next spring or summer.

The most immediate dispute stems from a $95 million bid by Vail Resorts (VR) for The Canyons. ASC informed Vail that it had rejected VR's bid in a letter dated July 16, in part because ASC believed that Vail had reached an agreement with a third party regarding the potential purchase of the Canyons without disclosing that agreement to ASC.

Vail, seeking to halt the sale of The Canyons to Talisker, claimed in a suit filed July 27 that ASC failed to consider the merits of the company's initial offer. Vail also upped its bid to $110 million. ASC replied that no sale agreement ever existed with VR. However, all parties have agreed to put the deal on hold until a Colorado court rules on a preliminary injunction filed by VR; that is expected to occur by Oct. 1.

Not to be left out, Kenny Griswold, the former owner of Wolf Mountain, has filed suit against ASC for defaulting on the terms of ASC's lease of terrain used by The Canyons, alleging that a 1996 lease agreement requires that Griswold approve any transfer of ownership of ski operations at The Canyons. Talisker is also named in this suit. An earlier suit, regarding an alleged default by ASC under its ground lease, is scheduled to be heard in May 2008.

Griswold, for his part, is being sued by Peninsula Advisors of Park City, which claims that Griswold breached an agreement reached in October 2006 to sell land owned by Wolf Mountain, and within the boundary of The Canyons, worth hundreds of millions in development rights. Peninsula says that the goal of acquiring Griswold's property was to lease the land to Talisker. In return, Griswold has countersued Peninsula.

While ownership of The Canyons is obscured in this cloud of suits and countersuits, things are becoming much clearer for ASC and the company's shareholders. The company failed to meet a July 31 deadline to satisfy Oak Hill Partners, the company's majority shareholder. ASC is now headed for total dissolution; following the sale of its remaining assets and after ASC's outstanding liabilities are met, the remaining proceeds will be distributed to Oak Hill. Unless they go to Griswold. Or Vail. Or is it Peninsula?

Comments

CanYuns

Most of the conjecture and rumor in these posts belies what is really going on behind the scenes. Unfortunately, Kenny G. may not have that strong a hand if his '06 agreement w/Peninsula is not somehow clearly void. Contract law can be painfully sticky. The best solution at this point is for Vail and Talisker to work out some kind of co-development deal and get this thing settled before Oct. 1 or before a Judge rules on it. That's my prediction, and I'm sticking with it!!

Good Luck !

is this the gossip posting section ? well, having been part of the team some posts are about and directed towards. Let us not forget the Les B who made poor DEALINGS in the first place. The Can is where it is because of that. Whomever ends up with the Can better know how to deal with the community and all the pieces to that puzzled deal Les B made. Moving forward-If greed is removed(gl there) then the Can can be all of its potiential. Hagan is the right person for His job in my humble opion of a past manager. Certainly there are many others who have And Are still there wanting to be higher and the mightiest. Though, we were all handed a \\"bucket of money\\" that had been dipped into before the Managers had a chance to do good. Personalities aside.

boss

scott got fired by BJ, blindsided " gross miss management". now have vail get rid of hagan and all his goons. The area needs quality management that knows how to run a ski resort, not a bunch of patrollers.

who ran the ship?

If you think B ran the ship for the last few years you are fooling yourself. really.

duh

canned or not the bulldog got off the ship before it entered the most recent s**t storm. Overpaid gm's always seem to find the next overpaid job

The Bulldog Got Canned

The Bulldog got canned at the Can, he didn't leave at the right time on his own accord as the local paper reported. B.J. has been running that place for the last few years anyway, so what do they need an overpaid GM for, when they already have one?

Time for Vail in Utah!

I fully agree with R. Thompson's comments; these ASC guys should have their heads examined. I also concur that Vail's ownership of The Canyons would wake up the backward state of Utah's ski biz by bringing some healthy competition and world-class professionalism to the party. Between Powdr and Deer Valley, Park City is still stuck into 20th century thinking. Go for it, Vail!

These guys are nuts

What an incredibly inept bunch these ASC guys are. First they get into a fight with the landowner they are leasing from, then they jump into bed with Taliskier before getting Vail's best offer. Being a property owner (since 2002) at the resort, I'm steamed. I wish I could sue them!

People who actually ski at the Canyons would much prefer to have Vail run the place since they actually have experience running ski resorts, and are willing to spend $ on improving the ski experience. The Park City paper is reporting the possibility (rumor) that they may not even open this coming season, but that rumor seems to have originated in the Wolf Mountain camp and ASC is denying it.

I REALLY hope Vail gets the resort in the end.

Park West

\\"Scott Pierpont, former president of The Canyons, resigned recently, leaving the resort without a managing director. Before press time on Tuesday, American Skiing Company CEO B.J. Fair had not returned telephone calls seeking comment about whether The Canyons will open this winter.\\"

The Canyons

Rex,
Who was the "Bulldog" at the Canyons?

abandon ship

Perhaps the bulldog was the smartest rat on the ship since he resigned when the ASC ship started to sink. Is there enuff time for the rest of the rats to abndon ship before they all go under ?

The Canyons

Bob, for the same reason that GW Bush is perpetually embarrasing our country and running us into debt; NO ACCOUNTABILITY. Unfortunately, the same sad situatation applies here; put an unqualified person in charge, then don\\'t hold them accountable (in fact, reward them) for poor performance. Incredible!

At least one poster below has it correct; the STAFF at The Canyons knows what is needed and how to do it, to truely be a world class resort. Unfortunately for those people they have been limited by the corporation above them, for the last 10 years.

Bob

Why do the ones that screwed up get a reward?

The truth

CEO poised to receive $1.4 million for helping to liquidate resorts Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff
According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, American Skiing Co. executives were promised bonuses for liquidating the company's assets. ASC, once the largest operator of ski resorts in North America, is now in the process of dissolving.Common stockholders in the publicly traded ASC are expected to receive no money. But for completing the sales of ASC's Steamboat, Mount Snow and Attitash ski areas, American Skiing Co. President and CEO B.J. Fair was promised a $1.4 million bonus, according to a recent SEC filing. \

Gossip, continued

All the posters here must be former or current employees. Guess which one I am. To all the former ones, good on you for getting out when you did. To the the current ones: think what you want about who is running the place, but when this thing does get sorted out, I hope you all have good resumes (or big fat payouts, which is unlikely since Chippah probably got the last one). Park Wolf Canyon West will live on, but whoever takes charge will sack everyone left.

Remember the rule, Bob!

It's not WHAT you know, but it's WHO you know...

Bob

Why is it that the biggest lossers get the best jobs in this industry?

win win

Unfortunately the 2.5 % probably wasn't his idea, more likely the idea of those who make bigger six figures. Either way the six figure club in the ski industry must be nice. For a place that was run into the ground it still sold for $100 mil.

the Canyons sale

the bulldog Scott Peripont is the new GM at Grand Tahragee, his cat is out of the bag. Maybe he will run them into the ground like he did the canyons, won' t those people love his 2.5 % merit increases while he makes 6 figures. Getting rid of the dog was a good thing.

Bulldog lands !!!!!

Look for the Bulldog at Grand Targhee. I guess it's not just cats that land on their feet.

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