Vail’s Four Seasons delayed as owner files lawsuit |

Vail’s Four Seasons delayed as owner files lawsuit

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyAn unidentified construction worker works on the Four Seasons building next to a rendering of the new hotel being built Tuesday in Vail Village. The hotel is again behind it's completion schedule.

VAIL, Colorado – The completion date of the Four Seasons in Vail, Colorado has been delayed again, and the owner has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against a consultant.

The $250 million hotel-condo-fractional project was supposed to open in June, but a spokeswoman said there is currently no opening date slated for the project.

The current owner, an affiliate of Barclays Capital Real Estate, filed suit in March against Ground Engineering Consultants in U.S. District Court. The lawsuit alleges that Ground did not provide the “elongation tests” – which confirm that the building is structurally sound – that it had been hired to produce.

Furthermore, according to the complaint, Ground’s reports “fail to mention that certain studrails in the concrete floor slabs are defective, missing or otherwise not in compliance with the project’s contract documents. … When studrails are missing, defective and/or not in conformance with the project documents or applicable building codes, the structure may be at risk to fail.”

The owner, Vail Development 09 LLC, seeks a judgment of at least $12 million, plus attorneys’ fees, according to court documents.

George Ruther, Vail’s community development director, said inspections continue at the Four Seasons site. Some corrections have been mandated by town inspectors, but that’s normal for a project of this size, he said.

“Every project of that scope and scale has numerous corrections required,” he said.

The project was turned over to Vail Development 09 LLC last summer after the original developer, Black Diamond Resorts-Vail LLC, defaulted on its loan obligations to Barclays.

“Ground Engineering was required to provide certain information to us and we found other means to accomplish this,” Vail Development 09 LLC said in a statement. “The owner has brought a lawsuit to recover the funds that the owner was required to spend as a result of a consultant’s failure to perform; but the consultant’s failure to perform will not impact the quality of the completed building.”

Some structural “issues” were found during a recent review, the owner said, but they were in “isolated areas.”

“The owner has required that these issues be addressed and fixed,” the company said in a statement. “This process is under way and should be completed soon.”

A representative from Englewood-based Ground Engineering Consultants did not return a phone message left Tuesday.

Last June, the Four Seasons project hired a new general contractor, Hyder Construction, replacing Layton Construction. The new contractor is still trying to determine the construction schedule, said project spokeswoman Emily McCormack. Because of that, a completion date has not been determined, she said.

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

The 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.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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