Christopher W. Payne

Tel 303.299.7345
Fax 303.296.3956

Christopher W. Payne is the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Resort, Hospitality, and Timeshare Group. Chris works with developers, owners, hotel operators, and lenders in the areas of real estate acquisition, land-use development, construction, condominium law, interval ownership, hotel development, and secured lending, with emphasis on resort and mixed-use projects. He is currently representing clients in the development of hotel and residential resort projects, often including golf, spa, or marine amenities, throughout the Rocky Mountain region, as well as projects in Mexico, Italy, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Representative Matters

  • Represents the developer of Chileno Resort and Residences, a multiphase, mixed-use hotel, spa, beach club, and second-home community with the master-planned golf community of Chileno Bay, Los Cabos, Mexico
  • Represents the developer of Snowmass Village base ski area, a multiphase, mixed-use planned community, including branded and unbranded residential condominiums, two condominium hotels (including Viceroy-Snowmass), conference center, spa facilities, skier-service facilities, and village retail
  • Represents the owner and operator of the Northstar Lodge in its redevelopment and rebranding of a fractional condominium-hotel project in Truckee, California
  • Represents the owner and operator of the Bear Valley Mountain Resort ski area in Alpine County, California 
  • Represents the developer and operator of One Steamboat Place, an anchor to redevelopment of the Steamboat Springs base ski area, including luxury residential condominiums, private residence club, spa, skier services, retail operations, and social club membership program 
  • Represents the owner and operator of The Sebastian, Vail, a boutique hotel, conference center, spa, and residence club 
  • Represents the owner and operator of Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa, including the Club Residences at Vail Mountain Lodge, Colorado
  • Represented the developer of Capella Pedregal, a luxury condominium community in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, featuring a Capella-operated hotel and wholly owned casonas, a private residence club, and a yacht club 
  • Represents the developer of Playa Monumentos, a fractional condominium-hotel project in Cabo San Lucas, to be operated by the Thompson Hotel Group
  • Represents the developer of Castello di Casole, a 4,200-acre luxury community, game reserve, and agricultural estate in Tuscany, Italy 
  • Represents the developer of Botany Bay, a 367-acre luxury, mixed-use community on the western tip of the U.S. Virgin Islands, including the planned development of a resort hotel
  • Represented the developer and former owner of Esperanza Resort Hotel and Private Residences, Los Cabos, Mexico, operated by Auberge Hotels
  • Represents various Colorado mixed-use condominium developers in the restructure of condominium documents, land use entitlements, replacement of mezzanine and construction debt, rebranding, new construction contracts, negotiation of mechanics lien claims, and homeowner association claims

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Wade Brorby, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, 1993-94

Professional Activities/Industry Leadership 

American Bar Association

Colorado Bar Association
Member, Real Estate Section, Executive Council; Council Chair, 2013-2014

American Resort Development Association
Trustee, 2013-present; Federal Legislative Committee, 2013-present; Chairman's League, 2005-2013

Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association, Governmental Affairs Committee, 2010-present

Urban Land Institute


"Termination of Hotel Management Agreements after Eden Roc," Colorado Real Estate Journal, May 1, 2013

"Condo-Hotels: Stuck between a Hard Rock and the SEC Rulings," Colorado Real Estate Journal, May 15, 2012

"HMA Document: A Must-Read before Acquiring Hotel Property," Colorado Real Estate Journal, May 4, 2011

"Recreational Club Conversions Can Present Challenges," Colorado Real Estate Journal, April 21, 2010

"Resort Area Amenities Agreements, Clubs and Recreational Covenants," Colorado Real Estate Journal, April 15, 2009

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, real estate: hotels and leisure, 2014-2018 (highest tier 2016-2017)

Named a "Colorado Super Lawyer," 2006-2017

Speaking Engagements

"Condo Conversion Panel," Multi-Family Product Council Program, ULI Colorado, November 16, 2017

"Global Trends in Shared Vacation Ownership," Annual Convention, ARDA, April 2014

"Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," Annual Convention, ARDA, April 2013

"2012 Colorado Legislative Update," Real Estate Fall Update, Colorado Bar Association (CBA/CLE), October 2012

"2012 Colorado Legislative Update," 30th Annual Real Estate Symposium, (CBA/CLE), July 2012

Moderator, "How To Re-Position and Re-Launch Struggling FI Projects," Ragatz Fractional Conference, March 2012

"Ultimate Q&A: The Future of Fractional," Annual Conference, Fractional Summit USA, August 2011

"Non-Recourse Carve-Out Springing Guaranties Or What Are You Going To Do; Oh, What Are You Going To Do When They Come For You?” 29th Annual Real Estate Symposium, Colorado Bar Association, July 2011

"Fractionals 101 – Part One," Annual Conference, Ragatz Associates, March 2011

"Short-Term Fractional Price Drops… Long-Term Consequences? What Can Lowering the Price Mean to Marketing, Sales and Operations?"ARDA, April 2010

"Private Transfer Fees: Unreasonable Restraint On Real Estate Or New Capital Market," 28th Annual Real Estate Symposium, Colorado Bar Association, July 2010

"Critical Legal Issues in the Fractional Interest Industry," Annual Conference, Ragatz Associates, March 2009

Co-panelist, "Impact of the Troubled Market on Resort Development," CLE International, Resort Development, August 2008

Co-panelist, "Developing South of Our Borders," Annual Convention, American Resort Development Association, April 2008

University of Denver Sturm College of Law (J.D. 1993)
Member, Board of Editors, Denver University Law Review; Member, Order of St. Ives

University of California, Los Angeles (M.A. 1989, urban planning and architecture)

University of California, Santa Cruz (B.A. 1986)