Vail Resorts wins round
of development dispute
September 24, 2005
DENVER - Vail Resorts, Inc. has won the latest
round of a lawsuit over a 1999 development dispute on Battle Mountain,
involving land formerly owned by two Denver attorneys.
Last week, the state Court of Appeals found a lower Eagle County court
erred in a 2003 decision to terminate a contract between Vail and the
lawyers and reject Vail's option to purchase half of the land. The
case will return to the lower court for reconsideration.
In 1999, Vail tried to buy half of the land the attorneys - whom
formed a partnership called Turkey Creek LLC - bought with $4.5
million from the ski company.
Vail wanted to conserve most of the land while Turkey Creek wanted to
develop the land. The lawyers, Jim Aronstein and Michael Page, sued
Vail, arguing the land had to be developed in order for Vail to buy
The resort company countersued, claiming development was not a
condition of purchase.
After losing in 2003, Vail appealed the decision, arguing the lower
court had applied the wrong legal standard to decide the case.
"We're encouraged by the appeals court's decision in our favor, but we
won't venture to predict the outcome," said Martha Rehm, an attorney
Gordon "Skip" Netzorg, attorney for Turkey Creek, said the case would
be reconsidered in Eagle County District Court, but declined to say
what, if any, action would be taken pending the court's decision.
The land in dispute is about 6,000 acres between Red Cliff and
Minturn, now owned by Ginn Development Company, LLC, which wants build
a private ski resort there.
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or