Colo. group turns to local court

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NEWFANE — Consultants in Colorado want their money for work done on behalf of the Hermitage Club as company officials eye a loan to get the company back on its feet in time to open its members-only ski resort this winter.

AETHOS Consulting Group — which describes itself online as "a global advisory firm serving the hospitality industry, operating from locations across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific" — has moved for Windham Superior Court, Civil Division to order a writ of attachment.

AETHOS "respectfully requests judgment in its favor and against" Hermitage Inn Real Estate Holding Company LLC and that the court enter judgment for about $133,750 plus a per diem of about $29 for every day after June 27 to the date the judgment is entered in Vermont, wrote George Anthes of Costello, Valente & Gentry in Brattleboro. A hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 4.

In an affidavit, Colorado-based attorney Kieran A. Lasater said she represented OpCoAmericas LLC in an action against the Hermitage in Colorado. OpCoAmericas, which was doing business as AETHOS, filed a complaint against the Hermitage in February.

In June, a judge ordered default judgment for OpCoAmericas for about $133,750.

"The Colorado court ordered that post-judgment interest would accrue at the statutory rate of 8 percent" per year, Lasater wrote. "This works out to a per diem of $29.31 for every day after June, 27, 2018."

Hermitage officials are busy securing a $30 million loan in hopes of reopening Haystack for this winter season. The company saw several properties, including the ski resort and golf course, foreclosed by Berkshire Bank earlier this year. And the Vermont Department of Taxes shut down establishments owned and operated by the Hermitage for lack of tax payments.

On Saturday, Hermitage president Harper Sibley told club members his team is solely focused on closing on the loan and will address debt-conversion deals later with advice from a new board of directors.

"To try and do all of this right now when it's not required by the lender is not the best use of our limited time," he wrote in a letter obtained by the Reformer. "To close the loan by Oct. 17 requires a new appraisal which has been ordered by the lender and will be completed in the next seven to 10 days. This will require negotiations with creditors, lien holders and an agreement with the tax authority which has been preliminarily discussed."

Sibley told members his team is making plans to rehire lift mechanics and having conversations with lift manufacturers to bring crews to the resort to help with maintenance. He said his team also has been talking with the bank and the receiver appointed by the court to protect the properties until they are sold or auctioned off.

"We plan to finalize details this week, which will assure the ability to operate the club even if the closing date is delayed for some reason," he wrote, calling the development "a major positive step for us."

Sibley has not yet unveiled the name of the lender.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

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