Billing battle rages over Limelight Hotel Aspen renovation
The remodel of Limelight Hotel Aspen took about six months to complete, but settling more than $3.4 million in overdue debts related to the project has taken twice the time so far.
The disputes involving project contractors and Limelight owner Aspen Skiing Co. have triggered three civil lawsuits and nine mechanics liens, mostly related to billing and performance disagreements over the project, according to public filings in the Pitkin County Courthouse and Clerk & Recorder’s Office. The first lien was filed in February 2022, and other actions followed.
As of Friday, one lawsuit and one lien remained active — the other issues having been resolved or combined. The three parties still in the dispute are Limelight Aspen (through Skico), Las Vegas-based PWI Construction, and Georgia-based GAR Mechanical, court records show.
GAR Mechanical claims PWI owes it more than $200,000, but PWI says it can’t make good on the debt until it is fully paid by Skico for the work.
“Limelight and ASC failed to pay PWI approximately $3,430,062.07 of the amounts owed pursuant to the Interior and Exterior Renovation Contracts,” according to a Jan. 10 filing in Pitkin County District Court by PWI Construction. “Some, but not all, of this money was owed to subcontractors hired by PWI for work to be performed at the Property. Because PWI did not receive payment, it could not pay its subcontractors. PWI and numerous subcontractors, vendors, and suppliers recorded mechanic’s liens as a result of Limelight and/or ASC’s non-payment.”
PWI’s filing motioned the court to consolidate two lawsuits: One involves Skico and Limelight as the remaining defendants in PWI’s lawsuit; the other has PWI as the remaining defendant in GAR Mechanical’s suit. Two district judges agreed to consolidate the complaints, according to court records.
“Good cause exists to consolidate the PWI Lawsuit with the GAR Lawsuit,” PWI’s filing said. “The lawsuits involve common facts and parties. The lawsuits arise out of the same construction projects at the same Property.”
Court filings by GAR Mechanical cast the blame on PWI. GAR Mechanical claims the general contractor went over the project’s budget, adjusted change orders without GAR Mechanical’s consent, and arbitrarily lowered the hourly rate it paid GAR Mechanical from $100 to $85. Filings by PWI cited GAR Mechanical’s alleged “work failure to complete the work for which payment is sought in ‘the best and most workmanlike manner.'”
Lawyers for PWI, the project’s general contractor, and GAR Mechanical, an HVAC company, declined to comment or did not respond to messages left last week. Skico, which owns Limelight Hotel, was sticking to its no-comment policy regarding company litigation. Skico has not made any filings in the lawsuit, and PWI and Skico are working on settling the issue out of court, according to written pleadings from PWI.
Limelight re-opened in December 2021 after an extensive renovation, which “left no wall untouched, from public spaces including the lobby, lounge, a new Kids Club area, meeting rooms, pool and fitness areas, and the restaurant and bar, and our 120 guest rooms and six suites. The fresh, light, and welcoming environment pays homage to the location’s dynamic past and vibrant present and gives an overall feeling of the modernized ski lodge,” according to an Instagram from PWI post dated Jan. 6, 2022.
Skico hired PWI in May 2021 to supervise the interior renovations and, in October 2021, hired it to oversee the hotel’s exterior renovations, according to court pleadings.
Before Skico bought the property in 2010, the Paas family had run the hotel as the Limelite Lodge and redeveloped it into the 126-room Limelight Lodge in 2008. Skico changed the name to Limelight Hotel, which is the flagship for like-named lodges in Snowmass Village and Ketchum, Idaho. Skico also has started construction on Limelight Hotel Boulder on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus, with the opening scheduled for the summer of 2025, according to an announcement from Skico last week.
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