Colorado Court Revives Steamboat Ownership Disput

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SAM Magazine--Denver, Jan. 23, 2004--The saga of the failed sale two years ago of Steamboat ski area to Triple Peaks LLC, an investor group headed by Okemo owners Tim and Diane Mueller, is getting longer. On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals ordered the issue back to trial, a ruling that Steamboat owner American Skiing Co. (ASC) plans to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.

The sale was originally scheduled to close in March 2002. ASC backed out at the last second, and instead sold Heavenly ski resort to Vail Resorts. Triple Peaks sued for breach of contract. A Routt County judge ruled in favor of ASC, and ordered ASC to pay $500,000 to Triple Peaks, as the contract specified if the sale was nixed. However, Triple Peaks rejected that solution and appealed the decision.

Timothy Mueller, president of Triple Peaks LLC and Okemo Mountain Resort, told the Rutland Herald that a three-judge panel had ruled that his group of investors had been wronged and was entitled to "specific performance" of the original sale contract or monetary damages.

"We haven't decided what we will do," he added.

In the meantime, the Muellers are about to acquire another Colorado resort. "We're still moving forward with the purchase of Crested Butte and expect to close in February," Diane Mueller told SAM. The price is reported to be in excess of $50 million. \

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