Snowmass hotel owners sue Related Westpac for $5.3 million |

Snowmass hotel owners sue Related Westpac for $5.3 million

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Owners of the Silvertree Hotel, which was scheduled to change hands last month along with two other Snowmass Village properties, have filed a lawsuit demanding $5.3 million from a group of entitles, including Related Westpac LLC, for backing out of the deal.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Pitkin County District Court in Aspen, claims that the prospective buyers had agreed to pay $5 million to the hotel’s owners, the Burwell family, if the three-pronged sale did not close by 5 p.m. April 15. Prior to that deadline, however, the buyers – Related Westpac, Silvertree Joint Venture LLC and Lower Silvertree LLC – reneged on the contract, the suit says.

While not identified directly in the suit, the Chaffin/Light Real Estate firm was also part of the partnership that planned to acquire the 260-room Silvertree Hotel, as well as the Silvertree Conference Center and the 140-room Wildwood Lodge.

Along with the $5 million, the suit also seeks $300,000 that the owners of Silvertree spent to maintain the hotel from May 1, 2009, to April 15. The buyers, the suit claims, had agreed to reimburse the owners for the money they spent on operations and maintenance.

Related WestPac spokesman Steve Alldredge said Wednesday that the company had no comment on the lawsuit. Andrew and Jim Light of Chaffin/Light were on vacation Wednesday and could not be reached.

The suit was filed by Aspen attorney Ted Gardenswartz, who did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday.

In its April 21 edition, the Snowmass Sun reported that Related Westpac, the developer of Base Village, had paid at least $8 million in earnest money used as a downpayment for the acquisition of the three Snowmass properties.

Related has walked away from several other purchases it had committed to in Snowmass, including the Office at the Cirque and Goodfellows Pizza, the Sun reported.