Lodge at Vail stores in court over fees | VailDaily.com

Lodge at Vail stores in court over fees

NWS Vail Promenade BH 4-13

VAIL – Stores in the Lodge at Vail Promenade on Gore Creek Drive are embroiled in a three-year legal battle with the lodge’s condominium association and the owner of the lodge.The case is now under appeal in the Colorado Court of Appeals. A decision is expected about a year from now.Seven stores owners – who own Squash Blossom, Gotthelf’s (now called A.E. Betteridge), Cosbar, Roxy, Skandia, Hillis Furs, Giovanny Alexander and D’Carlo – took the condo association and the owner of the hotel to court over condo fees being charged to the stores.

In May, an Eagle County jury found that the stores shouldn’t have to pay fees for firewood in the hotel lobby, advertising and promotion expenses, swimming pool, hot tub and sauna costs, and salaries and benefits for advertising, promotion and administration. That reduced the fees by 25-35 percent, said Matt Ferguson, a lawyer for the retailers.The court also ruled that the hotel owner had to pay back the retailers for past excess fees in the sum of $124,500. Last month, the Lodge at Vail told the store owners that they are not allowed to use bathrooms in the building.Lodge Properties Inc., the owner of the Lodge at Vail and a defendant in the case, is a subsidiary of RockResorts, which in turn is a subsidiary of Vail Resorts. Lodge Properties Inc. maintains, operates and manages the condos.Also, the court ordered that the condo association pay the retailers $451,000 in attorneys fees.

The stores bought their retail spaces in 1995 and 1996. They had been paying charges of $22 per square foot in condo fees, said John Cogswell, owner of the Squash Blossom. Those fees pay for services such as snow removal, trash removal, water, heat and lighting. But they were also paying for hotel services that weren’t related to their businesses, Cogswell said.After the judgment, those charges have been reduced to about $15-16 per square foot, Cogswell said.A lawyer for the condo association and the hotel’s owner did not return calls seeking comment.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or estoner@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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