Golf course contractor sues Greenbrier for $1.27 million

LEWISBURG -- A Raleigh County golf course construction company is suing The Greenbrier, claiming the resort failed to pay for work prior to the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament.

In May, Aspen Corporation was approached by the Greenbrier and George Golf Design, Inc., about implementing George Golf Design's landscaping design for the Old White Golf Course prior to the golf tournament, according to a complaint filed Sept. 29 in Greenbrier Circuit Court.

Aspen claims the landscaping design required a substantial amount of work to be completed on an extremely tight schedule, but they agreed to do the work and negotiated the cost of $900,000.

On July 7, the Greenbrier, through Jim Justice and its employees, took over George Golf Design's duties regarding selecting plants and flowers, which resulted in their requesting several changes be made to the contract, according to the suit.

The first contract change reduced the contract price but the second request, "which was composed of specific changes demanded by Jim Justice," increased the price, the complaint states.

Aspen claims that prior to implementing the changes requested by the Greenbrier and Justice, they warned them that the changes would "substantially increase the cost of the project," but that Justice and the Greenbrier instructed them to proceed.

The Greenbrier initially paid Aspen in accordance with the pay applications and the terms of the contract, paying a total of $597,839, according to the suit.

Aspen claims the Greenbrier has since failed to pay the additional $587,527.95.

While Aspen was completing the landscaping contract, the Greenbrier requested it to perform several tasks that were completely outside the scope of the contract, and Aspen warned that these tasks would incur additional costs, according to the complaint.

Aspen claims the additional projects, which included working on the bus drop area; a tunnel areal; the color planting maintenance work; installation of conduit and concrete piers and removal of shrubs; removal of sod; installation of 36 ground rods; Founders' Village; installation of stone; miscellaneous work to the Greenbrier Hotel; lawn maintenance; tournament week activities; conduit work; and miscellaneous work to the Old White Gold Course, cost an additional $687,258.56.

Aspen claims the Greenbrier has not paid any for the additional work.

All work requested of Aspen was completed on time and prior to the golf tournament, the complaint states.

The golf course construction company placed a lien against the resort's 6,500 acres and the buildings, claiming it owes $1.275 million for failure to pay.

Aspen is seeking damages, including $587,527.95 owned on the landscaping colors contract and $687,258.56 owed on the time & material contract with pre- and post-judgment interest; for the court to find that Aspen is entitled to a mechanic's lien upon the resort's property; for the court to order the mechanic's lien satisfied; and for the court to order the sale of the Greenbrier's real estate and from proceeds to pay the balance owed. Aspen is being represented by Charleston attorneys John H. Tinney and John K. Cecil.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Joseph C. Pomponio Jr.

Greenbrier Circuit Court case number: 10-C-208

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