Editor's note: This article was first published on BicycleRetailer.com on Thursday. On Friday a spokesman for PCMR contacted BRAIN to tell us that he was unaware of any communications between Wrona and the PCMR. His comments have been added to the article.
PARK CITY, Utah (BRAIN) — The organizer of DealerCamp has canceled this year's event, saying a dispute between rival ski resort operators has made it impossible to hold the trade event this season. A 2015 show is being planned.
Park City businessman Joe Wrona acquired DealerCamp from Lifeboat Events last fall. Wrona later said the event would be rolled up into a larger bike festival and would be operated as a non-profit. However, the date for this year's event, originally scheduled for July 24-25, came and went with no show.
In a letter to past DealerCamp participants sent Wednesday, Wrona said he was unable to make a long-term agreement with Deer Valley Resort (where DealerCamp has been held in the past) to hold the event in July. He said he had an agreement with Deer Valley to hold the event in July this year, but that Deer Valley wanted future editions to be held in June, which Wrona judged to be too early in the season.
Unable to make a long-term deal with Deer Valley, Wrona had looked to nearby Park City Mountain Resort as a possible venue, but a legal dispute between two companies vying to operate PCMR has put that possibility on hold, Wrona said.
PCMR property is owned by Talisker Corp. and has been leased and operated by Powdr Corp. since the 1970s. Talisker also owns the neighboring Canyons Resort. Last year, ski resort giant Vail Resorts agreed to lease and operate Canyons; Talisker wants to hand the PCMR lease to Vail, as well, claiming Powdr failed to renew its lease. Powdr is fighting to retain the lease. A district court judge has ordered the parties to try to reach a compromise with a mediator prior to a court date in late August. But local news reports indicate that there has been little progress in the talks.
Wrona said the uncertainty put the show on hold until at least the next court date, which was too late for a 2014 DealerCamp.
"We became excited about the prospect of hosting DealerCamp at the combined PCMR and Canyons ski resorts, but the court has been slower than we expected in ruling whether Vail Resorts can take over the operation of Park City Mountain Resort," Wrona's letter said. "Once the court rules on just who can operate Park City Mountain Resort, we hope to be able to announce the dates and location of a combined DealerCamp/Park City Bike Festival to take place in July of 2015."
On Friday, a PCMR spokesman said as far as he knows, Wrona had never contacted the company about hosting an event there.
"This article was the first PCMR has learned of any such desire," said Andy Miller, the communications manager for PCMR. "The current lease dispute has not prevented PCMR from working with multiple promoters to build a robust events calendar for summer 2014. To blame any complications with this summer’s DealerCamp on the lease dispute is simply inaccurate.”