Claims of Four Seasons trouble disputed in Vail | VailDaily.com

Claims of Four Seasons trouble disputed in Vail

Melanie Wong
mwong@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Workers and machinery continue to buzz in and out of the shell of the Four Season’s work site in Vail, Colorado, but major changes have hit the project in recent months.

Representatives from Layton Construction, which until June 11 was the general contractor for the project, have said that the project has been fraught with “developer defaults and late payments by bankers to constructors.”

According to Layton Construction representatives, Minnesota-based Black Diamond Resorts-Vail defaulted on the project back in February, after which Barclays Capital, the senior lender for the project, took over.

Black Diamond developer Doug Hipskind declined to comment on the project.

However, since Barclays has taken over the project, no construction payments have been made on time or in full to Layton Construction or any subcontractors working on the project, said Alan Rindlisbacher, Layton Construction spokesman.

“We are concerned that the people building the project for the bank’s benefit have had to carry the financial load of this project,” he said. “It seems especially unreasonable that subcontractors should have to finance their payroll for months while payments are withheld by the bank.”

The payment concerns had led to problems and poor morale on the work site, and Layton Construction was in the process of taking legal action against the property to get payment for some of the work that had been done, Rindlisbacher said.

Barclays decided last week to change contractors, asking Layton Construction to stop working on the site, saying that another local construction company, Heider Construction, has been chosen to finish the job.

“Although the bank has chosen to go a different way in completing this project, we hope they will be honorable to make Layton and its subcontractors whole for the quality work that has been completed on the project to this point,” said Rindlisbacher.

Barclays has refuted the allegations regarding payment default and financial instability of the project.

“We have honored our financial commitments,” said Brandon Ashcraft, spokesman for Barclays Capital. “Any allegations to the contrary are untrue.”

In fact, Barclays may continue working with many of the same subcontractors and tradespeople who have been working on the project since the beginning, he said.

Ashcraft declined to elaborate on whether or not the lender had to take over for Black Diamond Development, but said that Barclays has been involved with the project since the beginning.

“As the senior lender, Barclays Capital remains fully committed to the Vail Four Seasons and will continue to be closely involved as the project enters the final stages of construction,” Ashcraft said.

Further, the bank and hotel management have told town officials that the project will still make its December opening, even if it means working around the clock on double shifts.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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