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.”

(6) comments

paul pacheco

Let us not forget who bears the burden of proof! That is going to take a lot of hours of research and hard work that the plaintiff must confidently define! Then once the homework is done, they can commence and present their case to the court. And can the presiding judge apply and determine fault and breach of contract according to applicable laws justly? I love a good lawsuit!

Bob Res

Who cares about how “rich” the hotelier is...... The bottom line is that it appears on the surface as a reach of contract and potentially shoddy work and possibly over billing.

Remember....the next time it could be one of us so using richness, or even the questionable idea of a second story pool, is moot.

pooky bear

I don't think missing 4-5 months of pool time during the summer of '19 is a great loss as you can't use it during winter. Nor can you blame the defendants for the pandemic in 2020-2021. Consider that this is "the land of manana" when mitigating your damages.

Stefanie Beninato

Oh yes and Heritage Hotels is I believe owned by some 12th generation New Mexicans who should be environmentally conscious and who should know better than to install a swimming pool in a desert but then again I believe they also failed to pay some employees and the Dept of Workforce Solutions filed suit against the corporation. As for Lloyd and Associates, Mr Lloyd thinks aging in place is a hardship and that one can conclusively prove a speculative future need to justify an exception for a wealthy couple to add a bathroom onto a significant historic building because the other three bathrooms just wouldn't do....Now one side of this significant structure has a very "sensitively added" green sided room right on the street.

Kiki Martinez

Oh please Heritage Hotels & Resorts are sooooo rich this whole project was probably a drop in the bucket for them. Granted, that doesn't excuse poor workmanship, but hard to feel sorry for them. Does make a person second guess visiting the rooftop pool or whatever ball room lies underneath it.

DANIEL HAGAN

Swimming pool on the second floor. What could go wrong?

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