Vail Resorts pulls trademark application for ‘Park City’

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PARK CITY, Utah -- Vail Resorts pulled its trademark application for the name “Park City” after backlash from the community.

The company said the attempt to trademark the name created too much of a distraction. Hundreds of residents had expressed opposition to the plan, and held a protest earlier in the week.

Park City said hundreds submitted comments to the city, and turned out to a Park City Council meeting.

"Everybody was just shocked, appalled, and unhappy that they were pursuing this trademark," said Francine Valline, who works in Park City. "It was snowballing into a lot of ill will in town that had a lot of good reason behind it."

Businesses previously told Fox 13 they worried that the trademark would impact all businesses in town whose names included "Park City." News of the withdrawn application had many like Valline feeling relieved.

"Smart on their part to kind of back away from it all," she said.

On Saturday, Bill Rock, COO of Park City Mountain Resort, released a lengthy statement regarding the decision.

“We have tried to assure the community that this registration would not negatively impact other businesses and we do believe that there has been some misunderstandings and misinformation about the trademark registration,” Rock stated. “That said, this has clearly become a distraction that is pulling our collective focus away from the important work that lies ahead for our city on critical issues, such as affordable housing, parking and transit among others. As such, we have decided to withdraw our trademark application in an effort to move beyond this concern.”

Park City Mayor Jack Thomas also issued a statement on the issue, saying he appreciated Vail's decision to withdraw and to commit to modifying wayfinding signage, logos and vehicles to "clear up confusion in the community."

Thomas also said he was pleased with the way the process unfolded.

"I am proud of the civil and constructive comments from the public and stakeholders such as Future Park City throughout the process. From the City Council meeting in June to the peaceful protestors last week, and the nearly 800 people who provided feedback through the City’s website, the community has been at the forefront of this process and the City Council and I were listening every step of the way.”

Click here for the complete statement from Mayor Thomas. 

Read the full statement from Vail Resorts below:

“In 2014 while under Powdr Corp ownership, an application was filed with the Patent and Trademark Office to register the  word mark “Park City” for providing facilities for skiing and snowboarding. After our acquisition, we supported that application because we think it’s appropriate to obtain the benefits of federal registration for the PARK CITY mark, which has a long history of use in connection with the ski resort that is located in the Park City community. This is common within the ski industry and there are other businesses in our community that have registered PARK CITY for their products. However, recently there has been much concern raised in the community about what the impact of our trademark registration would be. We have tried to assure the community that this registration would not negatively impact other businesses and we do believe that there has been some misunderstandings and misinformation about the trademark registration. That said, this has clearly become a distraction that is pulling our collective focus away from the important work that lies ahead for our city on critical issues, such as affordable housing, parking and transit among others. As such, we have decided to withdraw our trademark application in an effort to move beyond this concern. In addition, we will be updating certain of our wayfinding and vehicular signage in Park City to address any local confusion about the difference between the resort and the municipality. We will be longtime partners in the Park City community, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration on everything that makes our community so special.”