PeakCM, State at Odds Over Hotel Contract

QBurke HotelBURKE – PeakCM President Jerry Davis says the Department of Financial Regulation has not contacted him to resolve a major Q Burke hotel contract issue, despite the fact that it appeared the agency would do so at some point this week.

 

All tasks involving furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) are currently suspended as a result of a dispute between Davis and the State.

When asked on Wednesday if he had any updates from the State regarding the project contract, Davis replied, "Nope." He also said that his team is reviewing its options in terms of taking further action.

The suspension of all FF&E projects – which started this past Sunday – will impact the hotel's opening, according to Davis.

Calls to the Q Burke marketing team and hotel developer Bill Stenger have gone unanswered this week.

However, the hotel is still taking reservations for the weekend of December 11, which is slated to be the day of its grand opening. We called the hotel to ask about open rooms for that weekend and were told by the operator, "We do have availability."

The hotel's early December opening is in jeopardy because of a dispute over the wording of the project contract.

The Department of Financial Regulation claims that equipment expenses are not specifically addressed in the contract and, therefore, can't be approved and paid to PeakCM. Davis argues that every construction job requires equipment and that the DFR is being "unbelievably unreasonable."

He decided to move forward with hotel construction last weekend amid concerns that he would shut the job down entirely because of lack of payment, which was partially resolved when the DFR approved just over $3 million in delayed funds.

At the time, Davis hoped the two parties could come to the table this week to discuss the issue involving equipment line items.

The Vermont Attorney General's office is now involved in the situation after the DFR requested legal advice. The office says it can't comment further on its role in the matter, citing attorney-client privilege.

Lt. Governor Phil Scott stressed that the Attorney General's involvement does not constitute a formal investigation.

"If the State is involved in any way, I think the Attorney General should take a look," Scott said, "just [to] make sure we did everything right and if we're not doing everything right, then we should rectify the situation."