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Governor to discuss future of hot springs park

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm •  Published: April 22, 2014

However, Simpson said the lease allows the state to give the company more time to vacate the property or more time continue to operate there.

"Although as of today, there hasn't been a firm decision to grant more time," Simpson said, adding talks with the company are continuing.

In his termination letter last month to TePee Pools, Simpson gave the company until May 6 to remove a large pool building and its other property from the park. He said the company failed to follow the terms of the 35-year lease with the state in July 2012 that called for it to develop an acceptable master plan within a year.

Ed Moriarity, a lawyer in Bozeman, Mont., represents TePee Pools, which is operated by his relatives. In an interview earlier this month, he said the company strongly disagrees that it submitted an unacceptable master plan to the state.

"(Simpson) just says, 'This is the rule, you guys get off,'" Moriarity said. "We're not going to acquiesce to him peaceably. Just because Mr. Simpson says it, doesn't mean that's the way it's going to be."

Moriarity said TePee Pools didn't agree with Simpson's position that because he rejected the company's proposed master plan, the lease was terminated. He said the lease also contains a provision that the state won't unreasonably withhold approval of the lease, which the company claims it has done.

If the state continued to press the company to leave the park, Moriarity said it was prepared to go to court.