Grand Summit Hotel condo owners laud renovations
Longtime tenants counter claims in lawsuit
When Jeff Bauml first heard about the Grand Summit Hotel Homeowner’s Association’s plans to significantly renovate the hotel at the Canyons Village base area at Park City Mountain Resort, he says he was elated.
“My initial reaction was ‘Thank goodness. It’s about time,’” Bauml said in an interview from Woodstock, New York. “It got to the point where I was bringing guests to the hotel and I knew it needed a change.”
Bauml has owned two three-bedroom units since about 2001 and referred to the hotel as his “happy place.”
“I bought a place for a quality-of-life investment,” he said. “I go there every year for skiing with my kids. That’s why we bought out there and we think the place looks great.”
The Grand Summit Hotel Homeowner’s Association authorized a $15 million remodel of 212 suites. The renovations, which included updating communal spaces such as the lobby, front desk area, spa and café, were completed over the summer. The hotel is located at 4000 Canyons Resort Drive.
In July, one owner, George Fleming, filed a lawsuit in Summit County’s 3rd District Court against homeowner’s association President Jim Dullanty, alleging the work was not up to par with expectations and that the homeowner’s association, particularly Dullanty, was not transparent with financial and design information. Last month, a motion was filed by Dullanty’s attorneys to dismiss the case. It is currently awaiting a judge’s decision.
Some owners backed the claims made in the lawsuit during interviews with <i>The Park Record</i>, while others, including Bauml, disagreed.
“I went out there for the annual meeting and I liked what I saw,” he said, referring to the upgrades. “I think it looks very cool. Certain things popped out to me and the whole place looks great. When you go through renovations of this magnitude there are things that will still need to be addressed and handled, but it looks great.
“They took a building that is 17 years old and made it pop again,” he added. “They made it an iconic place and helped it regain its luster.”
Lee Kafer, who has owned two units since 2000, said the homeowner’s association put a significant amount of effort into the renovations. But, he admitted, it was a long process.
“It’s like herding cats,” Kafer said in an interview from Clark, Vermont. “Getting them all on the same page can be difficult, but the hotel has never looked better. We are delighted with the progress because you can’t just let those things run down.”
John Morris, an attorney with offices in Park City and Salt Lake City who represents the homeowner’s association, agreed with Kafer that a considerable amount of work went into ensuring the procedure used to decide the different aspects of the renovations was correct.
“My job is to try and make sure the board and the owners comply with the procedural and legal requirements to make decisions,” he said. “It’s not my job to decide whether a renovation is a good idea or a bad idea.”
He added, “The procedure was generally correct. I didn’t see any problems with that. There was a board decision. They voted and all the voting looked proper to me.”
Morris noted that the renovation was not a unanimous decision by the seven-member board and it was “hotly disputed.” But, he said, all the board members and most owners agreed the renovations were necessary.
“Anytime you have a project like this, there will always be some owners who are opposed to the renovations,” he said. “It’s inevitable. But, it’s up to the board, who are elected by the owners, to make that tough decision and they always get flak. In the hundreds of decisions like this that I have been involved in, I can’t think of one where there wasn’t a least one or even a group of owners who were opposed to it.”
Dave Markert has been an owner of six quarter-shares since 1999. He said in an interview with from Atlanta that he arranged to stay at the hotel shortly after the renovations were complete, but his room was not ready.
“They had to give me a different room,” he said. “But when I walked into the room they gave me, I went, ‘Wow’. There was all this tile work, new floors and backsplash in the kitchen. It was incredible workmanship, in my opinion.”
Markert said he bumped into a woman who was at the hotel for a conference and she raved about the renovations.
“Her jaw dropped,” Markert said. “And that’s what I did 17 years ago when I walked into the lobby. I had that same emotional, happy response and the renovations elicited that feeling for me again.”
Markert acknowledged some issues with unfinished units, such as his, and other matters that should have been addressed prior to the reopening. But, he said, he was overwhelmingly pleased with the renovations.
“They were still working on some of the rooms so I was able to walk all around the resort,” he said. “Some rooms were open and hadn’t been released yet, but there was consistently this ‘Wow factor.’”