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, 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
  • Represents a privately held timeshare and hotel company in timeshare registration, regulatory compliance, secured lending, and real estate development matters in California and Colorado
  • Represents the developer of Hokuala, Kauai Lagoons, a multiphase, mixed-use resort community in Kauai Hawaii, featuring a private residence club, residential condominiums, and a golf, beach, and amenities club
  • Represents the developer of a branded private residence club located within Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  • 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
  • Represented 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
  • Represented the owner and operator in its sale 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 and social club membership program 
  • Represents the owner and operator of The Sebastian, Vail, a boutique hotel, conference center, spa, and private residence club 
  • 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 
  • Represented the developer of Playa Monumentos, a fractional condominium-hotel project in Cabo San Lucas, to be operated by the Thompson Hotel Group
  • Represented the developer of Castello di Casole, a 4,200-acre luxury community, game reserve, and agricultural estate in Tuscany, Italy, now operated by Belmond Ltd. 
  • Represented the developer of Botany Bay, a 367-acre luxury, mixed-use community on the western tip of the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Represented the developer and former owner of Esperanza Resort Hotel and Private Residences, Los Cabos, Mexico, now operated by Auberge Hotels

Judicial Clerkships

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

Professional Activities/Industry Leadership 

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


"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, real estate: hotels and leisure (Colorado), 2014-2020 (highest tier 2016-2020)

The Legal 500, Real Estate, 2020

Named a "Colorado Super Lawyer," 2006-2018

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

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

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

"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

"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)