Sale of Tamarack Ski Resort Assets in Idaho is Delayed

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A planned public auction of building materials, furnishings and unfinished construction projects at the failed Tamarack ski and golf resort in central Idaho has been put on hold for at least another two months. A series of notices filed late Friday with the Valley County Sheriff by creditors in the foreclosure case agreed to postpone until early September the bidding planned Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, lender Credit Suisse had planned to sell off materials and furnishings leftover when construction at the resort halted five years ago. Items up for grabs were to include electrical wiring, an elevator car, bath tubs, restaurant equipment, a pedestrian bridge — items that were once envisioned in the makeup of the Village Plaza, the resort’s condominium and retail hub. Then on Tuesday, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office, from the steps outside the county courthouse in Cascade, was poised to sell off to the highest bidder the unfinished plaza, and in a separate sale, the incomplete Lake Wing of the Lodge at Osprey Meadows, the nearby golf course. “It’s not surprising that the whole thing would be postponed,” said Steve Lord, the attorney for the Tamarack Municipal Association, the homeowners group that has operated the ski area for the last three winter seasons. “Maybe it buys time for someone to make an appeal of some kind or get together if they can come to some kind of deal on the assets,” he said. The resort opened to great fanfare more than a decade ago but ran into trouble in 2008, when the Swiss bank and its partners sued majority owner Jean-Pierre Boespflug after he defaulted on a $250 million construction loan. Boespflug’s plans for a $1.5 billion ski, golf and marina resort collapsed amid the faltering economy and real estate market for second homes cratered. At the time, Boespflug’s spending on construction outstripped his resources, and no other lender stepped in to extend him cash to finish the project and pay off debts. The French native has since disappeared. The Credit Suisse group now contends that it’s owed some $340 million and at one time, viewed a sheriff’s sale as a logical step in the foreclosure process. But the bank is also behind a series of other creditors with about $15 million in liens on resort assets. In the foreclosure case, Ada County Judge Patrick Owen determined that Seattle-based construction consortium Banner Sabey should have the first-lien position, worth $13 million, on the Village Plaza property. Separately, MHTN Architects of Salt Lake City holds first position with a lien estimated at $600,000 on the golf course lodge wing. Tim Flaherty, the director of the homeowners association, said despite the delay, the group remains hopeful that steps are being taken by all parties to get the resort out of foreclosure and back under a single owner. “You just can’t get upset anymore any time something gets postponed or put off up here,” Flaherty said.

West Mountain Ski Resort files Chapter 11 in New York

On the heels of the Greek Peak Ski Resort bankruptcy filing in the Northern District of New York, West Mountain Ski Resort is the latest ski resort to traverse the descent into bankruptcy.  Resort owner, East Slope Holdings LP, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 20, 2013 (Albany 13-11572) to stave off a foreclosure and seek a sale to a new owner.  The resort has apparently struck a loan to own deal with Apex Capital LLC to keep the resort open.  West Mountain was founded in the early 1960s.  Minority owner Michael Barbone, who owns 49 percent, took over operation of the mountain six years ago.  Apex Capital has agreed to advance East Slope $225,000 to get the mountain ready for next ski season.  The bankruptcy court entered an Interim Order on July 8, 2013 approving a small portion of the proposed debtor-in-possession financing to keep the business going until the final hearing, where the resort will seek approval of the full loan.