Christopher W. Payne


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, vacation ownership, hotel development, and secured lending, with emphasis on resort and mixed-use projects. He is currently representing clients in the development of hotel, vacation ownership, and residential resort projects, often including ski, golf, spa, culinary, or beach amenities, throughout North America, including projects in Mexico and the Caribbean.


Representative Matters

  • Represents a privately held family office in the development of mixed-use projects, anchored by boutique hotels
  • Represents a privately held company in Los Cabos in the development of an ultra-luxury hotel with branded residences
  • Represents a publicly held timeshare company in timeshare/trust registration, regulatory compliance, association governance, and real estate development in California, Arizona, and Colorado

Professional Highlights

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Wade Brorby, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, 1993-1994

Professional Activities

Colorado Bar Association
Real Estate Section, Member of Executive Council, 2009-present; Council Chair, 2013-2014

American Resort Development Association
Co-Chair, Ethics Committee, 2020; Trustee, 2013-present; Federal Legislative Committee, 2013-present; Audit Committee, 2019; Chairman's League, 2005-2013

Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association, Governmental Affairs Committee, 2010-2019

Urban Land Institute, Resort Entertainment Tourism & Leisure Product Council, 2018-2019

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers USA, real estate: hotels and leisure (Colorado), 2014-2024 (highest tier 2016-2024)

The Legal 500, Real Estate, 2020, 2021, 2023, 2024; Real Estate Finance, 2021

Speaking Engagements

"Hot Legal Topics at Home and Abroad," Annual Convention, ARDA, May 2018

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

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


"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



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)