I love the reader comment about when you have a choice between slim or none, you might as well go with slim. After reading this definition of appeals it looks like the next steps are POWDR filing documents, Talisker responding and presumably a bond being posted by POWDR.
Sullivan is quoted as committed to finding a resolution that "works" for both parties and how the appeal "won't interfere" with the mediation process. These statements have to be parsed! Katz is on record (leaked letter) as offering to work with POWDR owning the base area. Cumming is on record as saying he wouldn't let Vail take over the resort. His idea of what works for Vail involves POWDR continuing to lease the resort lands. That technically does not get impacted by how the appeal works out. But practically it is hard to see POWDR agreeing to pay a "whitemail" rate for the lease (say $10M) high enough for Vail to give up their notion of operating the property or POWDR agreeing to run the base area in concert with Vail running the upper mountain without the appeal being denied. Practically, it is a lot easier to see mediation being successful if POWDR didn't appeal and just conceded that they lost their lease.
Assuming the appeal process cannot be completed before 8/27, the mediation process could easily proceed where the parties come to 2 agreements: one where the appeal wins and the other where the appeal fails. Of course, the former is easy. Katz has already said he won't appeal a losing ruling. If the appeal wnis, then POWDR runs PCMR. Katz has already said the lease rate that Talisker asked for before the Vail deal was not economically viable (I forget the exact quote). Presumably that was in the $2-3M/season range based on the $7.7M in past rent/damages Vail is seeking. That pretty much leaves the "spit resort" option as the only viable solution that leaves PCMR intact from a skiers perspective. There's probably only one person participating in this thread that thinks Cumming will roll over and play dead even if only on the condition that the appeal is not successful. Personally, I want to believe that Cumming is level headed enough to plan for the most likely outcome. But my get tells me he intends to run PCMR for the 2014/15 season and will do whatever delay he has to in order to make this happen. If he agrees in mediation to a split resort option prior to 8/27 and the appeal is quickly denied, there's a good chance the split resort option could be implemented for the 14/15 season. If Cumming stonewalls mediation (hanging on the POWDR runs PCMR stance) and the appeal goes at least until mid October, then for sure he gets to run PCMR as is next season. In my book, this is simply too tempting a strategy for Cumming to pass up.
A deal is always possible at any time. But until the legal options are exhausted neither side has any reason to concede the big issue: Vail operating the upper mountain. That makes Sullivan's statement the ultimate kiss up to the appellate court. A slim chance indeed! But I will give him credit. It's well played.