An agreement has finally been reached after a long battle over condominium and hotel service fees charged by Stowe Mount Resort.
STOWE, VT. — The parties in a long-standing lawsuit disputing the amount of condominium and hotel service fees charged by Stowe Mountain Lodge have tentatively reached an agreement. Officials of Spruce Peak Realty, LLC and Stowe Mountain Lodge, LLC, which are affiliates of Stowe Mountain Resort, along with a group of owners of 40 condominium units at Stowe Mountain Lodge, announced on Feb. 13 that they have reached an agreement in principle as to the terms of a settlement resolving a putative class action lawsuit alleging that condominium and hotel service fees are much higher than anticipated by owners at the time of purchase at Stowe Mountain Lodge.
“We have enjoyed working with the condominium owners of Stowe Mountain Lodge to enhance the benefits of ownership and to simplify and reduce the costs that owners pay,” said Sam Gaines, Director of Real Estate and Development at Stowe Mountain Resort. “We now look forward to continuing our partnership with the owners so that we can deliver the best possible experience to our owners and guests.”
Patrick Sullivan, one of the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said reaching the proposed settlement was “a great achievement for the owners, who will see their costs go down significantly, while maintaining the same level of service owners enjoy at Stowe.”
Both Stowe management and the plaintiff owners expect homeowner association fees and service fees to be reduced by as much as 26 percent for new and existing lodge condominium owners. Under the terms of the settlement, condominium owners will also have greater representation in the condominium’s governance. Coming off the strongest real estate sales season in the last five years, the reduced fees should provide continued sales momentum heading into 2014, adding to nearly $200 million in sales that have occurred at Spruce Peak since 2004.
Stowe Mountain Resort currently offers the Residences at Stowe Mountain Lodge, Front Four Private Residence Club, Mountain Cabin luxury townhomes and a limited number of ski-in/ski-out home sites.
The settlement is subject to finalization of amendments to the governing documents and the parties’ Stipulation of Settlement, as well as court approval of the class action settlement, which the parties expect to be finalized in the first half of 2014. As part of the settlement, Stowe Mountain Lodge does not admit to any wrongdoing and expressly denies any liability.