A new lawsuit is asking the state’s First Judicial District Court to determine if an architect, engineers and a construction company all failed in designing and building a rooftop pool at the Eldorado Hotel & Spa in downtown Santa Fe.
The pool was built in 2019-20 on the second-story roof above the hotel’s conference and ballrooms but has never been publicly used because of state COVID-19 restrictions.
Guadalupe Hotel Investment LLC alleges in a suit filed March 2 against several Albuquerque firms involved in the project that they provided “incomplete [and] substandard” architectural plans, which caused “increased costs, numerous change orders [and] lost revenues to GHI,” as well as damage to the ballroom ceiling.
Guadalupe Hotel Investment is an entity of Heritage Hotels & Resorts, whose portfolio includes the Eldorado, the Inn and Spa at Loretto, Hotel St. Francis, Hotel Chimayó de Santa Fe and the Lodge at Santa Fe.
Heritage Hotels declined to comment on the swimming pool litigation, as did the hotelier’s counsel, Albuquerque law firm Jackson Loman Stanford & Downey.
“They did ask us not to say anything in the media,” attorney Eric Loman said.
The suit individually addresses complaints against architecture firm Lloyd & Associates, engineering firms Bridgers & Paxton Consulting Engineers and Walla Engineering, and pool builder Hermanson Construction.
None of the defendants returned calls seeking comment on the litigation.
The suit alleges Lloyd & Associates’ “failure to prepare complete construction drawing caused numerous delays during the course of the project.”
“Lloyd & Associates continually overbilled GHI for its time used to continually correct and revise the plans during construction administration,” the suit states.
Heritage Hotels in March 2019 announced plans to build a swimming pool for guest use only and a potential public wedding venue on the second floor. No completion date was given at that time, but the complaint alleges the plan was to have the pool ready for summer 2019. The project was not completed until summer 2020, when hotel swimming pools in New Mexico were shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The complaint alleges the structural beams designed by Walla Engineering caused “severe cracking in the gypsum board ceiling in the ballroom,” which forced the closure of the ballroom until repairs were made.
The Eldorado has the most hotel conference space in Santa Fe at 22,000 square feet, but no group events have been staged there since coronavirus restrictions were imposed in March 2020.
Bridgers & Paxton did not provide “necessary pool and sanitary drains with grease trap routing,” according to the complaint, causing delays preventing banquet services in the ballroom.
The suit also accuses Lloyd & Associates and Hermanson Construction of breach of contract.
“Hermanson Construction failed to perform its work in a timely manner and cooperate with other traders resulting in significant costs to the project in terms of change orders, project management, overhead expenses,” the suit says.
It also alleges negligence and unfair trade practices.
Guadalupe Hotel Investment seeks unspecified damages as well as triple damages “and/or disgorgement of all amounts paid to Hermanson Construction.”