David Holland’s termination leaves reservations in limbo
September 4, 2009
When travelers arrive this weekend at the front desk of what had been the second-largest nightly rental business in Park City, they’ll be greeted by empty darkness and pieces of paper taped to the countertop directing them down a few floors.
On Thursday, David Zatz announced his Crossways Corporation and its David Holland Resort Lodging (DHRL), which previously staffed the desk, were terminating business operations.
Due to ongoing litigation over lease rights, no one is currently staffing the front desk at The Lodge at Mountain Village. Instead, All Seasons Resort Lodging, which was chosen by The Lodge’s homeowners’ association to replace DHRL, is operating a check-in and help desk in office space belonging to the association adjacent to the parking garage.
The space is easy for guests to find and directions to it are clear.
Trent Davis, whose Resort Commercial Property Management owns the front desk along with other commercial space at the Resort Center, has declined to be interviewed.
Tom Mccausland, The Lodges association president, said All Seasons has everything it needs to serve guests. When guests show up, they’ll be first asked to show proof of their reservation. Next, if their reservation is for The Lodge, All Seasons will issue them a key. If it is for another property, All Seasons will put them in touch with whatever company now manages that property.
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"We’ll figure out a way to accommodate them and make sure they’re taken care of," he said. "All Seasons is manning that desk 24-7."
Alan Finnegan, owner of All Seasons, echoed that.
If guests cannot get the properties they reserved, they’ll be offered adequate alternatives with perks added to make sure they’re compensated for being inconvenienced, he said.
"The bottom line is we’re taking care of the guests," he said.
If they’ve already paid a reservation fee to Crossways and no other arrangements have been made, All Seasons will help them recover that money, he said.
Whether by helping them contact Crossways directly or helping them request their credit-card company cancel payment to Crossways, Finnegan said guests will be able to get their money back and put it toward the total cost of their stay.
Michael Fried, founder of Phoenix Realty Group that started PRG Resort Management to eventually take over DHRL’s nightly-rental operation, asserted that advanced reservations made with Crossways or PRG belong to him.
He purchased them from Crossways and he’d be happy to sell them. He believes many Park City lodging companies would be interested in bidding on them. As of Thursday, he declined to outline his specific course of action saying it was yet to be determined.
On Wednesday, Fried sent a letter to condominium owners explaining that he had offered to sell All Seasons equipment necessary to run the nightly rental business at The Lodge along with homeowner contracts that had been signed with PRG and the advanced reservations, which he believes to be worth over $600,000.
Because of ongoing litigation between PRG and the association, the association forced All Seasons to cancel that sale.
"The only people hurt by that are the homeowners who are deprived of a smooth transition," he said. "I sought to exit the business."
Fried said he’s not able to comment on present or future litigation.
Finnegan said he isn’t worried about Fried withholding the advanced reservations because the guests will likely call the property in advance of their arrival to ask questions and can be informed of the situation then. After explaining their options to them, he believes guests will likely transfer their reservations to All Seasons.
Also, PRG will be contractually obligated to notify condo owners that they have future reservations for the units. When those notifications take place, Finnegan believes owners will transfer that information to All Seasons and allow his company to notify the travelers of the changes.
Regardless of what happens with advanced reservations, PRG still owns the equipment currently stored at The Lodge that it cannot sell to All Seasons. At an appropriate time, it will be moved to storage, Fried said.
Fried also wanted to make clear that PRG never began operation, and therefore never accepted any of Crossways’ liabilities. Nor did it enter into any contracts that would have accepted liabilities.
PRG attempted to begin a nightly rental business in Park City, purchased equipment from DHRL to make that possible, and began preparations to absorb DHRL on Sept. 15. Because of objections from the association as well as Resort Commercial Property Management, the business never started. Crossways still belongs to Zatz and there is no connection between it and PRG, he said.