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Park City May Have Made Big Mistake By Not Fighting Vail’s Use of the Mark “Park City”

I was writing an earlier column on how bad The Resort Formally Named PCMR (TRFNPCMRCANYONS) had handled this year’s first snow storm. It was the first time I’d written on the resort, since Vail combined two of our local ski hills.

A few months back, I heard talk on KPCW about Vail’s use of the words “Park City” for their combined resort but really hadn’t contemplated what it meant. Now that the season has started we have two Park City’s… one is the town and the other is the resort.

So let me provide a few phrases:

  • Park City Sucks
  • There is no where to park at Park City
  • Park City is crowded
  • Traffic is horrible getting to Park City
  • Park City is expensive
  • People at Park City are rude
  • There’s nowhere good to eat at Park City

Which of those phrases describes the resort and which describes the town?

That’s the problem. Which is which?

It appears Vail has tried to mimic Colorado… where there is no distinction between the Vail the city and Vail the resort. They appear to have co-opted the entire city in a marketing move. The difference here, or course, is that Park City existed for about 150 years before Vail arrived.

The real problem is that Park City city officials haven’t prevented it. This is a serious issue, especially when Vail fails and people have bad experiences. It undermines the entire Park City (the city) brand.

This has the potential to be one of the largest screwups in Park City history. It’s likely looking back that we’ll have wished we didn’t let our horse be tied to the Vail wagon.

I’ve always maintained that the Vail men and women are the “smartest guys in the room.” It’s moments like this when I realize that, without paying a penny, they own the whole town, that confirms they are really a step ahead.





My jaw is still scraping the snow on this one. How could this have happened? There is no dearth of cliches that apply to this decision. ‘If you don’t know the answer to a question, look it up!’ Or find people with the applicable knowledge and experience to help you. Then follow up. ‘If your friends told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?’ The answer: no, you wouldn’t because that would be silly. But there is nothing silly about this development that strikes down Park City in one fell swoop.

Maybe Vail is well-intentioned. Possibly, Vail owners desire to stem the tide of commercialism in this small town. What if Vail wishes to keep this feeling of the old West, this gorgeous nature that greets us at our doorsteps every day, this entitlement we feel to befriend and call our grocery clerks by name. But the question, “May we have your name, too?” precludes these assumptions and has some Parkites bracing for a different kind of storm in this town.

Please, Vail owners, give us back our name. You are you and I am I. Park City is a town wherein its year-round citizens find peace, gratitude, God, Mother Nature, friendship, community, solitude. Please be yourself. You are Vail.



I completely agree. I’m not really sure there is anything Park City Municipal could have done LEGALLY to prevent it, but I still can’t believe they didn’t find a way to stop it from happening.

It just leads to confusion. For instance I read in today’s Park Record, “As Park City tried to dig out of the recent snowstorms, and large crowds of skiers arrived to enjoy the new snow, the parking situation quickly deteriorated.” Given all the complaints against Vail’s handling of THE BIG SNOW™, I wasn’t sure whether the paper was talking about the resort or the town.

I’m obviously not a trademark lawyer but I’ve done some additional research on the Vail’s Trademark of “Park City” and it appears we really owe the pleasure to our old friends at the Greater Park City Company… AKA PCMR… who filed the trademark in early 2014 and then assigned the trademark to our new friends from Colorado … Vail.

It even gets more interesting. Park City Lodging is attempting to trademark “Park City Lodging.” That seems reasonable, but no, it appears Vail is attempting to block that, you know, because Vail has the Park City trademark in relation to skiing, lodging, etc. It probably doesn’t impact Park City Lodging from keeping their name because they were using it before Talisker/Vail’s trademark, but we shouldn’t expect any new businesses related to anything Vail does incorporating the words “Park City” going forward (without approval from Vail).

I wonder how the Chamber of Commerce views that? More importantly I wonder how the city views that?


Jesus fucking Christmas will SOMEONE please post the anti-Vailcorp petition URL?


Even knowing the difference, Park City still sucks. They have Vegas prices for dive bar atmosphere. I’m a little bitter because I had high expectations… It just doesn’t deserve the rep it has. If I had come here with less expectations I might have enjoyed it more. Maybe this is just post Vail takeover? I don’t care either way… I’m not coming back.

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