Kyteler’s landlord begins discussions with Steamboat workers

Steamboat Partners, owners of pub property, calls meeting an effort to reach out to those affected

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— Owners of the space used by Kyteler’s Irish Pub in Steamboat Springs met Thursday with workers who claim they’re owed thousands for the pub’s construction, starting discussions that spread confidence but yielded no action to ease the labor-related tensions.

“They are doing their best to resolve this problem. They’re being supportive and understanding,” carpenter Gary Wall said about Steamboat Partners, the landlord of the retail space. “I’m confident they will get to the bottom of this.”

Wall said Steamboat Partners did not offer workers any monetary compensation for paychecks owed by Kyteler’s.

Steamboat Partners is the owner of Wildhorse Marketplace on Mount Werner Road in Steamboat Springs. Resort Ventures West conducts property management for Steamboat Partners. However, it does not own Kyteler’s, an unopened pub that occupies a corner location in the shopping plaza. Kyteler’s is owned by Gerry Howard, who could not be reached Thursday and has not returned phone messages for the past week.

Wall has said he’s owed $7,500 for work on Kyteler’s construction this winter.

He’s one of at least 15 workers involved with the pub’s construction who have contacted a lawyer for help in securing owed money. Overdue payments to workers, vendors and suppliers could total more than $150,000, local lawyer Ralph Cantafio has said.

Several workers have said they received a paycheck this month for work done in December, but have received nothing for January through March.

Brent Pearson, of Steamboat Partners, said the Thursday meeting was an effort to reach out to affected workers.

“We met with them to understand their story and to see that any wrongs are righted in an appropriate manner. We’re really trying to collect information and make things better,” Pearson said. “We’re not happy with the thought that these things are happening.”

Pearson said Kyteler’s has met all of its obligations under its lease, though, and members of Steamboat Partners “really have no legal ability to do anything at this point in time.”

The Kyteler’s situation doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident for Howard.

Also Thursday, the service manager for Colorado Alarm, a Golden company that installs fire alarm and sprinkler systems, said he’s still owed “about nine or 10 grand” for work in summer 2008 at Trinity Irish Pub in Evergreen. The pub has since closed.

“We tried everything we could do to get our money, and we got stonewalled through the whole thing,” Jason Ryan said. “If you can’t collect, you can’t collect.”

Business records filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office show that Trinity and Kyteler’s share the same owner.

Gerard C. Howard is listed as the owner of Trinity Irish Pub while Gerard Howard is listed for Kyteler’s. Both listings share a Lone Tree mailing address.

The general contractor on the Kyteler’s site was GCH Contracting, which Howard owns.

Ryan said Colorado Alarm contacted an attorney to collect as much as $10,000 from Howard but realized legal assistance could cost as much as $12,000.

“It was cheaper for us to write it off than pursue legal help,” Ryan said Thursday. “I’ve tried to block it out of my mind.”

To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or email mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

garywallabr 3 years ago

Mike Lawrence you are one hell of a reporter!

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Fred Duckels 3 years ago

I don't understand why the Pilot is getting involved in civil matters like this, I would think twice before hiring someone if my situation was to be tried in the media.

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TEEJAY1309 3 years ago

Mr. Duckles,

It's called News. People want to know what's happening. No matter what, it would behoove the paper to print a continuation of the story and not just leave people hanging. People want to know the outcome of situations like this. Stories like this affect the whole construction industry as things such as this are not just happening in Steamboat.

As for your comment "I would think twice before hiring someone if my situation was to be tried in the media", it seems as though you are trying to blame Mr. Wall for trying this in the Media because he is the only worker quoted. Mr. Wall is not trying this situation in the Media; he gave answers to questions that were obviously asked from Mike Lawrence.

If the tables were turned and it was you who were giving the answers, a derogatory remark such as the one you made, would not sit very with your reputation. It's my belief and opinion that you should apologize for such a remark and realize what it could do to a person’s reputation.

If you're sick of the story or stories that the pilot prints and it seems you are, don't read them. My sincere apologies if this are not the case.

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freerider 3 years ago

Fred

you gotta be kidding , if you're not doing anything wrong then why fear the media ?

The pilot is not engaged in smear tactics like some of the polical news media

These guys are getting ripped off big time , the Steamboat construction community deserves to know about stuff like this . I'm glad to know to stay clear of these guys

This kind of behavior can ruin and bankrupt businesses and it happens all the time

So you're saying that you should immune as a construction company so you can rip people off and get away with it ??

This kind of comment makes you look pretty bad , you might want to think before you type next time

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Fred Duckels 3 years ago

Airing a civil matter is for the courts. In many cases there are two sides to a story and holding kangaroo court in the media is not a good way to solve things. False charges could land one in trouble. I have many deadbeats that I would like to even the score with but my experience tells me to be more wary the next time.

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TEEJAY1309 3 years ago

Mr. Duckles:

The whole point is that this is not a civil matter being aired in public nor is anyone "holding a kangaroo court in the media". There are not even false charges being aired. With you saying that, I suppose that you are saying that the 14 or so people who met with Ralph Cantafio at his office the other day & showed up at an interview at the Pilot to meet with Mike Lawrence are all liars and don't deserve to get paid for the work they did as employees of Gerard Howard or Kytelers!

A Kangaroo Court & False Charges? Honestly! Where are you getting your information? Did you even read the whole story over the past few days?

The only false thing that was said was your statement "I would think twice before hiring someone if my situation was to be tried in the media", which seemed to say that Mr. Wall was trying this situation in the media.

So I suppose that you would not hire an honest man who stands up for what he believes in, which is getting paid for a job that he performed and performed well.

Mr. Duckles, that does reflect well back on you sir and knowing that, maybe you should change your way of thinking.

Our community knows that Mr. Wall is the President of the Home Builders Association and I'm sure that that Mr. Wall was not only fighting this for himself, but felt compelled to fight for his co-workers, the sub contractors and the suppliers as well.

This type of problem is not just happening in Steamboat, in Routt County or the state of Colorado, but Nationwide and needs to be stopped; and if people do not stand up for themselves it will become more and more widespread.
With the economy in such a turmoil it does not make it "OK" to take advantage of the "Working Man/Woman" by beating down their prices and then not paying them when he/she has completed the job either as an employee, a contractor, a sub contractor or as the supplier.

It's companies like this that are giving the construction industry a bad name and being in the trade yourself, is that the kind of reflection you want for the Construction Industry?

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garywallabr 3 years ago

To Mr. Duckles & anyone else who may be compelled to judge me, or any of the men/women in our society who have been taken advantage of in this current economic situation?

Let me direct your attention to Mr. Ryan's part of the story. Mr. Ryan of Colorado Alarm contacted an attorney to collect as much as $10,000 from Gerard Howard, and found that legal assistance could cost as much as $12,000. Therefore Mr. Ryan had to forgo what he was owed and walk away. I find it incongruous that the court system that is in place tends to make it impossible for people like myself & Mr. Ryan to prevail. Why does the lack of mentality that exists in our court systems allow this to flourish? We need to stop walking away. We all know and have experienced the school yard and know how the bullies make the rules. It’s time we stood up to the bullies and show them we are not afraid of them.

I am proud of the community I live in here in Steamboat. I for one am thankful that the Steamboat Pilot & Today has the ability to utilize Freedom of the Press; cares enough to write about our situation; and then put it in print for all to see. This does not make the readers or the Pilot a court of the media, but it does however make the readers the court of public opinion, and we are all entitled to our opinion.

This was never intended to be tried in the Media Mr. Duckles, this was a story that needed to be told. Were we supposed to tuck our tail between our legs and walk away from thousands of dollars that is owed to us? You sir were not there to hear the excuses & promises we constantly received when we asked for the monies owed to us. Maybe you need to walk a block in our boots and see how it feels, and then tell us what you would have done in our situation. How long would you have gone without a paycheck? I don’t believe at all that you would have gone months on end before you pulled your dump trucks and backhoes off the job.

We did not have the luxury of waiting any longer with the wolves that were at our doors. When your family is depending on you, the last thing you want to do is let them down. Our rent & bills need to be paid and to quote someone I know, “You cannot go to Safeway or City Market and tell them you can only pay $20.00 of your $500.00 grocery bill because you haven’t been paid yet, but don’t worry, I’m good for it.” If life worked that way, all good and fine, but duh!

So Mr. Duckles what kind of person is it that you would hire? Maybe you should try going months on end without paying the good men and women that you employ. Let us know how that works out for you.

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Fred Duckels 3 years ago

I have had many contractors purchase gravel from me and declare bankruptcy so I am aware of the construction experience. I do not know any of the parties or details involved here but this is a situation of little guy being taken advantage of by big guy. This makes a good story but if the roles are reversed would we find any interest? I suspect that the lein rights will bring some relief here. It would feel good to embarass those who owe me but probably not a good plan for the long haul.

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

Fred, A little guy contractor going bankrupt and not paying bills to a supplier is hardly a situation of the little guy taking advantage of the big guy. The big guy is out some money and the little guy is bankrupt.

It is unclear to what extent this story is the big guy taking advantage of the little guy because it might be a case of the big guy going bankrupt. But even then the big guy chose to continue work and increase the resulting pain on the workers instead of declaring bankruptcy earlier.

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garywallabr 3 years ago

Fred, it's obvious that no matter who was involved in the story that it would still make a good story to print. It's called Human Interest - High School Journalism 101. One of the first things you're taught is about human interest and how human interest stories catch the eye of the reader.

Yes, I'm am the "Little Guy" being taken advantage of by the "Big Guy" and FYI, this was not meant to be an embarrassment to anyone. My business is Custom Interior Trim and I am a Remodeling General Contractor, but things being what they are I accepted a hourly position in order to survive.

I have never gone into debt because of my overhead, being as I too know the nature of the business. If this had been a project in which I were the General Contractor, I would have removed my employees or Sub Contractors and my resources immediately if not sooner, at the first inclination of financial trouble.

Scott, you are correct, no one has given the reason for why this happened. I can't even give you the reason because all I've heard are rumors. Maybe there's more to this than anyone knows, but I couldn't tell you that. It is my understanding, through what I've heard, that bankruptcy is not the cause though.

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Scott Wedel 3 years ago

Gary, Well, there appears to be the big story. Is this guy going bankrupt and desperately trying to get open to make money to pay off everyone he owes? Or is this guy playing a scam taking money for work done by others to enrich himself in order to disappear when the funds stop?

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rexrox77 3 years ago

YES SCOTT, THEY ARE SCAMMERS!!, I SAY, "PAY OR GO AWAY". WE HAVE AND HAVE HAD ENOUGH SCAMMERS HERE ALREADY, LET'S SEND THESE FRONT RANGE ONES BACK HOME!

I SUGGEST A LOCALS' BOYCOTT OF THE PLACE UNLESS THEY PAY UP, NOBODY DRINK, EAT OR ESPECIALLY WORK THERE!!, IF YOU WORK THERE YOU PROBABLY WON'T GET PAID ON TIME OR AT ALL!!!

AFTER THEY ARE GONE WE WILL HAVE A GREAT BANKRUPCY AUCTION, SOME PEOPLE WILL GET GREAT DEALS AND THE CONTRACTORS WILL GET SOME OF THEIR MONEY!

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Kevin Nerney 3 years ago

Scott, I don't see how a guy (howard) could be making money by spending money he doesn't have. If Howard was the middle man taking money from the investor and then not paying the subs he could get away with a large chunk of change and vanish but somehow this doesn't seem to be the case.
Anyway, if this place is up to snuff and can legally open (after Howard walks away) I say open it, utilize the space, make a bunch of money to pay everyone who is owed anything and then shut it down until a new owner is found to satisfy the landlord. I'll offer my services on a volunteer basis as interim operator.

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rexrox77 3 years ago

Kevin, make a bunch of money to pay everyone?, good luck! The location sucks, and has claimed two victims so far, and Quizno's, as good as they are, seems to be on thin ice since they are now only open 5 hours a day. Ben and Jerry's, and the delicious Bombay Grill didn't make it there and probably would have in a better locale.

Unless you offer great entertainment and/or great deals, both a financial risk, not too many of us will go there as it seems to me, and somebody will have to risk the money.

Hopefully the owners will get it together and at least try to pay off the bills, but I am not too optimistic about that. If Steamboat commercial landlords would lower the rent as the residential ones have, many more businesses, like the Village Inn, would have made it and we would have fewer unemployed.

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garywallabr 3 years ago

Kevin:

If an unscrupulous businessman needed to scam money for whatever reason, I feel it would be quite simple in this economy to do so.

First he could probably create a business plan using labor costs at the normal rate of approx $40.00 per hour including labor burden, using 10 employees. Estimated at 6 months and using simple math, he then creates a number for the bottom line. Then he hires someone to manage the project for him, the employees are hired as “subcontractors” at the beat down rate of $20.00 per hour with no labor burden. However, here is the potential downfall. The manager of the project is totally incompetent & unqualified to manage the project and does not use the labor efficiently or the time allotted. Therefore the project has lasted 12 months instead of 6, which was unrealistic to begin with. All of a sudden the money that was scammed in the beginning is no longer there and the labor cannot be paid.

And yes Kevin, you are correct, the landlord could take the place over, but being as it’s not finished and ready to open, who then will pay the people needed to finish it and how can this place make any money going into mud season? You and I both know how this town empties out when ski season is over and the tourists leave, the restaurants close or shorten their hours and the locals who can afford it go on vacation. We are talking about at least 2 to 2 ½ months of either no business or slow business and really, with all the suppliers who would have to be paid, how then can you pay the employees who were not paid out of the register? But if I were the landlord of the property and then become the manager of the bar, I would then utilize mud season (the general fix up time) to dress up some of the poor quality that was slammed in because of budget problems and dial in the loose ends. Realize that the landlord has gotten the place at a deflated price because all outside investors, including the scammers, have lost their investment. Then after the place was completed, the landlord pays everyone off who was not paid, keeping good will in the community, making it quite simple to make money off of a place that he has then acquired at a deflated price.

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” is a phrase attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in the late nineteenth century. The phrase is actually a misquotation of the statement: “If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.” But I have to quote the ending to that; Brother Dave Gardener says “Of course advertising helps!”

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John St Pierre 3 years ago

Just go to the court house and file and "intent to lien" the actual owners of the property are on the hook.... there were permanent improvements to the property...

Every properly run construction project requires lien releases from the subs and suppliers in order to get monies realeased from the bank or title company.......

The property owner is acutely aware of this.... and I would suspect so is his mortgage comapny...which is why he met with these people.... just go to the courthouse and file an intent to lien... costs a few dollars..... and watch what happens

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