General contractor comes out ahead in timeshare dispute

The general contractor came out $6.4 million ahead in the lengthy court battle over the final construction bill for what was formerly the PH Towers Westgate time share.

In a 43-page ruling finished Monday, Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez awarded Tutor-Saliba Corp. $9 million in unpaid bills, $2 million less than it requested in closing arguments two weeks ago. The award does not include interest that Tutor-Saliba claims at 8 percent, which could add more than $1 million to its final total.

At the same time, the judge awarded developer Westgate Resorts Ltd. $2.6 million for various pieces of shoddy workmanship, notably the concrete pool deck that cracked. However, Westgate had requested $10.2 million for this and a list of other alleged shortcomings.

“Westgate is disappointed with the judge’s decision,” attorney Robert Schumacher said. “We obviously disagree and intend to exercise all of its possible trial remedies, including appeal.”

As one point of dispute, he said, Gonzalez had awarded Tutor-Saliba a 6 percent fee on the $12.5 million bill requested by subcontractor Conti Electric, even though Conti settled before trial for $7.5 million.

In keeping with its long-standing policy, Tutor-Saliba’s attorney declined to comment. The builder is a unit of giant Tutor Perini Corp., which is embroiled in much larger litigation over the construction of the CityCenter complex.

Just off the Strip and attached to Planet Hollywood Resort, the PH Towers project was billed as the world’s largest time-share building at 52 stories and 1,201 units when it opened in late 2009. Westgate lost control of it nearly two years later as part of a larger debt restructuring deal reached with its lenders.

The project is now part of the Hilton Grand Vacations chain of time-share properties.

The tower’s role in Westgate’s financial problems that hit during the recession figured prominently in the movie “Queen of Versailles,” released last year.

Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at toreiley@reviewjournal. com or 702-387-5290.