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Talisker Acquires the 170-room Waldorf Astoria
 at The Canyons in Park City, Utah


By Mike Gorrell, The Salt Lake TribuneMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

March 30, 2010-- Talisker Corp. has expanded its already important presence in the Park City area, acquiring the Waldorf Astoria Hotel at the base of The Canyons Resort, which it bought in 2007.

Terms were not disclosed.

Formerly known as Dakota Mountain Lodge and part of the famed Waldorf Astoria Collection, the luxury hotel opened last summer. It has 170 rooms and condominiums, a Golden Door Spa, a restaurant and plans for a golf course.

But court records show that one of its principal developers, Lee Hindin of DuValcq Development, has encountered financial problems in the past year, apparently contributing to the change in ownership.

"We are proud to add this wonderful and complementary asset to the Talisker and Canyons properties in Park City," Jack Bistricercq, Talisker's chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "The Waldorf Astoria will expand Talisker's 'Definitive Alpine Living' experience."

Talisker is a Toronto-based real estate development and investment company. A local spokeswoman, Lisa Roskelley, added that the ownership change is not expected to result in operational changes at the hotel, whose general manager is Steve Lindburg, chairman of the Utah Board of Tourism Development.

Roskelley handled media relations for former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

Talisker has been a key player in Summit County ever since one of its subsidiaries purchased United Park City Mines and began converting its property along Deer Valley's fringes into a posh ski and golf development. Its properties include Empire Pass at Deer Valley, Red Cloud and Tuhaye golf course community, all part of the exclusive Talisker Club.

In 2007, Talisker outbid Vail Inc. in a contentious duel to acquire The Canyons Resort from American Skiing Co. That $100 million acquisition increased the company's Utah holdings to more than 13,000 acres.

The hotel opened as Dakota Mountain Lodge in July, fulfilling Hindin's goal of providing luxurious lodging "with a few surprises," such as a Czech crystal chandelier in the main lobby. The European-style check-in desk was backed with a floor-to-ceiling screen whose art depicted a village-life scene in Japan. Its stained wood interior was designed to inspire thoughts of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City, rather than a rustic mountain resort.

But in the months after the hotel opened, 3rd District Court records shows that Holladay Bank and Trust secured two judgments totaling $182,000 against Hindin, while American Express Centurion Bank obtained a third for $245,000.

Utah Department of Commerce records also show that the license for DuVal Development Partners 1 Holdings LLC has expired.

-----

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Copyright (c) 2010, The Salt Lake Tribune

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