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Colony owners, Klaubers cease fire

MELISSA REID
Associate Publisher
mreid@lbknews.com

Longboat Key’s version of the Hatfields and McCoys have finally begun to resolve their differences and work together for a common good — according to a joint press release.

In a release dated Feb. 28 from the Colony Beach and Tennis Club Association and the Klauber-Moulton Family it was announced that the two main parties involved in the Colony dispute have begun discussions and made progress over planning the redevelopment of The Colony.

The Colony Unit Owners Association and the Klauber family after years of battling over which party is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance costs of the Colony have gotten together without attorneys to discuss the condominium and resort’s future redevelopment, according to Jay Yablon, President of the Colony Beach and Tennis Club Association.

The meeting consisted of a direct discussion between leaders of the Association and the Klauber family to resolve all of the legal disputes that have been ongoing since 2006.

Yablon stated, “I am very pleased that we are finally at the point where everybody has decided to leave their lawyers at home and talk directly with one another to try to resolve these issues. We have found that at this point in time there is much more that unites our interests than divides them. We are now collaborating on strategies not only to settle our own bilateral disputes but to press the other key stakeholders toward resolution as well, so that we can soon return to the heavens the star that was once The Colony.”

Yablon also informed that the Association “completed three days of owner meetings dealing with the redevelopment of the Colony.” The Association’s Annual meeting will be held on May 6 and 7, and in the meantime the unit owners “will be taking an advisory vote to help the Board determine whether to pursue a rehabilitation of all the existing units or a project that is mostly new construction with the exception of the dozen or so beach units closest to the Gulf of Mexico,” wrote Yablon.

Colony Manager Katie Moulton (and daughter of founder Murf Klauber) noted that she and Yablon had several discussions during his visit to Sarasota for the unit owner meetings, and the two agreed that having a conference between members of the Colony Association Board and the Klauber group would be valuable.

“There is a time for everything, and now is the time to end the years of dispute and work collaboratively to find a swift resolution to the issues that have plagued our precious Colony for far too long. We are delighted to see that the Board is open to finding a cooperative route to resolving the disputes. Our owners, guests and many friends of the Colony who have missed priceless experiences at The Colony these last few years, as well as our good neighbors on Longboat Key, want nothing more than to see the resort revived for future generations, and we are committed to that goal. Good and productive dialogue is now underway, and we will not stop until we have succeeded in ending this long nightmare,” said Moulton.

Klauber also stated that there has been progress made between the two parties.

“The Association’s meeting was promising and I was happy to see the unit owners who attended engage in productive debate and discussions. The Board brought some very qualified professionals to the table and the attendees had a chance to openly and honestly express their opinions of the various options presented. Afterwards we had some honest and candid discussions between us and a few of the Board members. Though there remains a great deal of pain for all that has happened these last many years, I think now is the time to align our business interests, and get this done,” said Klauber.

Past litigation

The Colony Association of Unit Owners and Klauber had been engaged in the past several years in legal battles regarding who had the responsibility of upkeep and maintenance of the Colony.

The 18-acre resort was shuddered in August 2010 after more than 40 years as a national and international destination that attracted a President and Vice President within the last 15 years as well as countless stars and celebrities as well as a large percentage of existing Longboat homeowners.

The closing was caused by the refusal of the Colony Association to pay Klauber assessments to pay for maintenance of the aging structures.

Both sides sued each other and after two years in court, Klauber’s business interests are in bankruptcy, but his management partnership, which he was President of, was awarded nearly $25 million in damages last year.

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3 Responses for “Colony owners, Klaubers cease fire”

  1. Todd Goodman says:

    Let me get this straight. After years of pointless court battles over which side failed more than the other to hold up their end of the bargain…and after forcing so many “owners” to abandon their dreams by having to sell off severely undervalued units, suddenly…and without explanation…the two sides are now going to bury the hatchet? Really? Has the legal action been ceased by either side? My guess is, this was the plan along and that somewhere over the past few years both sides have figured out a way to make more of what they worshiop – money. “A great deal of pain?” Who is in pain? The millionaires at the head of the table in these meetings? Who are they kidding? Together these pathetic, selfish, greedy lowlifes took the most special resort in the country and collectively and knowingly ran it in to the ground. And now that the property is worth a fraction of what it once was, they have miraculously determined it’s time to smoke the peace pipe? Is it just me, or does this smell like one of the dead fish on the beach? Stick around. Things are about to get very interesting. But if you are an “owner” and you think either side has your interest at heart, I have a lovely bridge that connects Manhattan to Brooklyn…and you can have it for a fraction of the fees you are currently shelling out to not use the Colony.

  2. The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort, trace back through the history of Longboat Key, this is a defeat and a despair that is unparalled. A meeting of the minds here is something that can never be, review the participants, case closed. Something new must come about, free of the filth. For now doom and gloom, but the property will have a future rebirth. A devil can never be an angel. Ever minute on The Colony was “Happiness”. Sadly missed.

  3. Mike Bauman says:

    It’s about time. We greatly miss the Colony. We have come to the Colony 2 to 3 times per year for the last 20 years. Our children grew up going to kids camp. We’ve hunkered down through a hurricane. We have met people that have become friends for life. We got to know Murf & Katie as well as a good number of the staff. Easter brunch became a tradition (Our annual Jerry Springer sighting). We’ve sailed, swan, fished and walked the beach and spent more money at Taste Buds and the Monkey Bar than we care to remember. We are looking forward to someday coming back. Please get this done. It breaks our hearts to drive through and see how run down it has become. Time to come together.

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