Fight ends over development that isn’t | VailDaily.com
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Fight ends over development that isn’t

Cliff Thompson
A series of lawsuits surrounding redevelopment plans for the Vail Village Inn, which the owner plans to turn into a five-star, luxury resort Ñ have come to end with a settlement in Eagle County Court.
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The lawsuits started over the redevelopment plans for the Vail Village Inn plaza and an adjacent site that were announced in 1999 and approved by the town of Vail in April 2000. Shortly thereafter, a legal donnybrook began that would take four years and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, to resolve.

Last month the disagreement ended.

“The two principals decided it was appropriate to resolve it,” said attorney Jim Bailey, who represented developer Waldir Prado’s Daymer Corp. The particulars of the settlement are not known, but it likely involved the original plaintiff Charles Lipcon paying a check to Prado.

The first suit, in 2000, was filed by Lipcon, a Miami admiralty attorney who owns a condominium in the Vail Gateway building. The dispute was ostensibly sparked by the development’s potential to block views of Vail Mountain from his condo.

Lipcon sued the town of Vail and Prado’s Daymer Corp. claiming the proposed $110 million hotel, retail and residential project violated its own development guidelines. A court, however, upheld the development plans.

Prado, who purchased the Vail Village Inn in 1996 for $6.9 million from Joe Staufer, then sued Lipcon for a then-Eagle County record of $26 million, claiming he had breached a pre-existing agreement signed by all property owners in the Vail Gateway, stating they would not contest development plans at the adjacent Vail Village Inn plaza.

That agreement had been reached when it was discovered the Vail Gateway, when it was built, had encroached on Vail Village Inn plaza property that Prado had planned on developing. Lipcon purchased his unit in the Gateway in 1990 and signed that waiver, court records show

Prado in January of 2001 successfully sued Lipcon and a jury awarded Prado and Daymer $7 million. Jurors found Lipcon breached the waiver of his ability to contest the development of the new project and also intentionally interfered with that agreement. Prado said the suit filed by Lipcon made it impossible for him to secure financing for his project.

Lipcon then was sued again – on Dec. 10, 2003 – by Prado and Daymer for allegedly illegally transferring title to his Gateway property to Whitebay Marketing, a British Antilles Corporation. Lipcon then appealed.

That suit and all the other disagreements ended Jan. 8 when the settlement was authorized by District Judge Tom Moorhead.

In the mean time, Prado’s two Vail Village developments remain on the drawing board. His plans to redevelop the Vail Village Inn into a five-star, luxury resort are still on the drawing board. Across the street at the Chateau at Vail, the Vail’s Town Council last week began deliberating whether to issue a five-month extension to the developers who want to buy the complex from Prado and build a Four Seasons resort.

Cliff Thompson can be contacted via e-mail at cthompson@vaildaily.com or by calling 949-0555 ext. 450.


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