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Vail Plaza back in court

Cliff Thompson

Charles Lipcon has filed with the Colorado Court of Appeals to take a $7.8 million damages award made in January by an Eagle County District Court jury back to court.

The appeal comes as Lipcon and Daymer Corp., owner of the Vail Village Inn, continue to negotiate a settlement after more than two years of legal jousting. Lipcon was the defendant in the counter suit damage award made by Daymer. The jury found Lipcon had breached an existing agreement with Daymer not to interfere with the $110 million development of the $379,000-square-foot Vail Plaza East when he filed suit against Daymer and the town of Vail in the September 2000 claiming the town had not followed its own development regulations in allowing a special development district for the project. Among the points of contention were slopeside views, which Lipcon said would be compromised by development of Vail Plaza East.

Lipcon, a Miami attorney, owns a penthouse in the Vail Gateway, a property immediately north of the proposed Vail Plaza East on the southeast corner of Vail’s main roundabout.

“I was surprised,” said Waldir Prado, owner of Daymer Corp., said Monday. “By appealing it puts the project on hold until the court rules.”

That ruling could, by various estimates, range from several months to up to a year.

A co-plaintiff in Lipcon’s suit, John Breyo, who also owns a condominium in the Vail Gateway, settled for an undisclosed sum in January, Prado said.

In his appeal, Lipcon, who did not return phone calls Monday, is objecting to the town’s zoning that allowed a special development district to be created.

“It’s unfortunate we can’t get it over,” said Daymer attorney Jim Bailey.

While the Vail Plaza East is stalled by the appeal, however, the development of the Vail Plaza West is progressing, Prado said. That project will be built on the site of the Chateau Vail and will be open for the 2004 ski season, Prado said. It will be a 479,000-square-foot building with a hotel, fractional fee units, a spa, conference facilities and employee housing.

Prado said he and an unnamed developer will enter into a joint development agreement by the end of August, with demolition/construction starting as early as April 2003.

“I see many positive things in the works for the town,” said Prado. “The future for Vail is great.”


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