Vail Four Seasons project changes hands | VailDaily.com
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Vail Four Seasons project changes hands

VAIL – The ownership of the $250 million Four Seasons Resort development in Vail, Colorado has changed hands.

An affiliate of Barclay’s Capital, the senior lender on the project, has acquired the development from the original developer, Black Diamond-Vail LLC. The new owner is called Vail Development 09 LLC, said project spokeswoman Emily McCormack.

Doug Hipskind of Black Diamond-Vail LLC declined to comment for this story Monday. Brandon Ashcraft of London-based Barclays Capital confirmed the change in ownership but declined to discuss the reason for it. He added that the original developer cooperated with the change in ownership.

Meanwhile, the targeted opening for project has been pushed back six months to June 2010, McCormack said.

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The project, which remains under construction in Vail Village just southwest of the main Vail roundabout, is slated to have 121 hotel rooms, 16 condos and 19 fractional residences. It broke ground in 2005, and was originally supposed to be completed in 2008.

The Four Seasons project has been touted as one of the major components of Vail’s so-called “renaissance,” which includes several multi-million-dollar construction projects around town, such as the Arrabelle at Vail Square, Solaris and the Ritz-Carlton.

In June, the Four Seasons project hired a new general contractor, Hyder Construction, replacing Layton Construction. The decision was made by Barclays Capital to “ensure continued progress of the project,” a source close to the investment company said then.

After the company parted ways with the project in June, Layton Construction officials said that Black Diamond Resorts-Vail defaulted on the project in February, after which Barclays Capital took over. A Layton spokesman added that, since Barclays had taken over the project, no construction payments had been made on time or in full to Layton or any subcontractors working on the project. Barclays countered that it had honored its financial commitments.

The change in the contractor was made to ensure that “homeowners and guests have the best-quality resort experience,” McCormack said Monday.

The Four Seasons stalled for nine months in 2006, when a prospective lender backed out over rising construction costs.

Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland said he just wants to see the project done and operational. He still expects it to be the top-quality hotel it has been planned to be, noting that the Four Seasons company remains involved and committed to the project.

“I don’t think the Four Seasons would do it any differently,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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