LODGE, SPA WILL TURN INTO DRUG TREATMENT SITE
The investment group behind the project closed this week on plans for the vacation spot.
An investment group’s plans to turn the upscale Lodge and Spa at Cordillera into a high-end drug treatment facility will begin in September.
A $136 million plan to convert the upscale Lodge and Spa at Cordillera into a high-end drug treatment facility is moving forward.
The investment group behind the project closed on the lodge in Edwards this week and the $20 million first-phase of renovation is slated to begin in September as the new owners, led by Concerted Care Group, convert the 56-room lodge, restaurant and spa into a private drug rehabilitation center.
Neighbors in the affluent golf community above the Vail Valley sued to stop the conversion, arguing the development of a private drug-treatment center damaged property values and violates the community’s zoning rules.
The Cordillera Property Owners Association and a group of residents filed two other lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Denver last year to stop Concerted Care Group, arguing a change to the planned unit development guidelines that allowed for a medical facility at the lodge was not properly vetted with residents who bought property with the assumption they would have access to the community’s centerpiece lodge, spa and restaurant.
A federal judge in February refused to delay the sale of the lodge, striking a fatal blow to the $100 million class-action lawsuit, which Cordillera residents dropped. The residents’ lawsuit against Eagle County commissioners who approved the planned unit development change that allowed for a medical facility at the lodge is being argued in District Court in Eagle County.
Both sides have presented briefs and responses and a decision on that lawsuit could come this month.
“I just pray to God they lose because they are lying sacks of … that’s the truth,” said Lenny Culicchia, who has lived in Cordillera for three years and joined neighbors to fight the plan. “This guy comes in and says he’s going to hire 100 people with an average salary of $100,000? They are going to charge $60,000 a month? They say they are going to rehabilitate people?
“What we’ve got here is a money-making scheme and they are using the politically correct press to make the residents of Cordillera look like a bunch of evil, non-caring, hateful people, when they went behind our backs to change the PUD and take away our lodge with a plan that has never been above-board,” he said. “I
hope they fail miserably. It’s the most foolish plan on the face of the earth.”
Three investors — IFG88 Healthcare Fund, SMB Bradley & Associates and Heronwood Capital — are financing the project. The group spent $9.6 million for the lodge.
CCG Management will manage the facility, with behavioral health expert Dr. Jeff R. Brooks serving as chief operating officer.
The Vail Valley’s 359 Designs, Slifer Designs and construction firm RA Nelson are handling design and development.
Concerted Care Group chief Noah Nordheimer said the in-patient, private facility will offer a suite of rehabilitation services that could cost as much as $65,000 a month. The treatment center will include private rooms adjacent to a spa, pools, yoga and Pilates studios with fitness instructors, a high-end restaurant and juice bar alongside medical facilities providing drug addiction treatment services. Nordheimer, who recovered from a pain-pill addiction following a back injury, built two drug treatment facilities in Baltimore in 2015.
“This has been a long process. They always are,” said Nordheimer, who dismissed the Eagle County legal challenge as “kind of a nothing thing.”
“It’s time to focus on the positive stuff out there instead of a fight we always knew we were going to win,” he said.
Dallas-based Behringer Harvard spent $35 million for the 56-room lodge and 20,000-square-foot spa and 23 adjacent acres in 2007, two years before the economic recession wreaked havoc on Colorado’s high-end resort real estate market.
Firm founder Robert Behringer at the time said the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera was a “a unique and irreplaceable asset” and “a jewel in the mountains.”
The lodge gained notoriety beyond its reputation as one of Vail’s most exclusive resorts in 2003 when an employee of the lodge told police she was raped by basketball superstar Kobe Bryant during a stay. The charges against Bryant were eventually dropped.
“It’s time to focus on the positive stuff out there instead of a fight we always knew we were going to win.”
Noah Nordheimer, Concerted Care Group chief