Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CSU Pikes Sued for Damages to Hotel

Hotel to sue local fraternity
Beaver Creek lodge says Pi Kappa Alpha members trashed property
BY HALLIE WOODS

Pi Kappa Alpha, a local fraternity unaffiliated with Colorado State University, could face a $4.5 million lawsuit for allegedly causing heavy damages to a Beaver Creek hotel after a night of partying in November.

Ben Irvin, president of Western Seasons Hotel Corp. in Beaver Creek, said the group caused approximately $20,000 in damages to the privately owned condominium lodge he manages and then refused to pay for it.

Irvin said the group first misled him, saying they were members of the Pi Kappa Alpha Alumni Association.

"Whenever they started checking in, my sales and general managers both became a little nervous because they felt they were in the age group as students," Irvin said.

Irvin claims the group broke lamps in rooms, damaged cars in the parking lots, vomited in the lobby and broke beer bottles in the common areas, among other things.

"The vicious and malicious thing was they slashed panels in elevators and then they wrote obscenities across the panels," Irvin said. "That alone was about $7,000 in damage."

Irvin said the hotel charged approximately $2,000 to the credit cards on file for damages to the room but could not pin damages to common areas on any one individual.

Irvin said members signed the lodge's guest books with their Greek letters.

Irvin, who has sought legal counsel and plans to file the lawsuit this week, said representatives from the fraternity declined to talk to him.

No one answered the door Monday at two Pi Kappa Alpha houses on Laurel Street and phone calls to fraternity headquarters were not returned Monday.

Irvin said he plans to seek the $4.5 million for damages and restitution because he has not been able to renew his property management contract because of the property's condition. His contract expired in December.

Pi Kappa Alpha lost its affiliation with the university in fall 2005 following numerous incidents over the course of several years, according to an e-mail statement from Dell Rae Moellenberg, a spokeswoman for CSU.

They still, however, have their charter from the national headquarters.
Moellenberg said if current students are involved in the incident, the university can consider disciplinary action. No individual names associated with the incident were available.