Hotel-condo owners at Big Sky Resort are suing the resort’s parent company over claims its rental management company is “price gouging and cheating them out of rental revenue,” according to reporting by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
The plaintiffs include Larry Anderson, Suzanne M. Anderson, Robert and Nora Erhart and Tjarda Clagett, condo-hotel owners in the Summit Hotel, Shoshone Condominium Hotels and the Village Center in Big Sky Resort. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Butte on Dec. 30, naming Boyne USA, Boyne Properties and Summit Hotel as defendants.
“The plaintiffs seek class action status, saying damages could exceed $5 million and have more than 100 class members,” reports the Chronicle.
The condo units with private owners remain open to the public through Big Sky Resort’s inventory and owners may use the unit as a vacation home. The rental management agreement requires that owners exclusively use Boyne’s program for rental management, which costs owners 50 percent of net rental revenue.
Plaintiffs claim that this rental management agreement allows Boyne to “improperly charge above market rates” for its management services, according to the lawsuit.
The market rate for rental management fees in Big Sky is about 25 percent to 35 percent, the complaint alleges, adding that similar resorts charge less than 50 percent and don’t require owners to use the developer for rental management.
The complaint includes a number of other claims, including that Boyne “conceals its conduct” by not revealing room rates or providing monthly statements to unit owners on lodging rates, resort fees, taxes or deposits to the owners.
Big Sky Resort and Boyne declined EBS’s request for comment.