More troubles for Snake River Sporting Club
By Cara Froedge, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
February 13, 2009
County commissioners are foreclosing on almost $6 million in bonds held to complete infrastructure at the troubled Snake River Sporting Club.
Teton County Attorney Jim Radda called upon the funds from Wells Fargo on Wednesday. According to four letters sent to the bank, Teton County is owed about $6 million.
The county is owed $5.59 million for road work and $338,455 for landscaping. The club owes another $66,275 for reclamation and revegetation.
This week commissioners directed Radda to move forward on foreclosure after they learned Wells Fargo would not renew those bonds for an increased sum.
The county now estimates that work will cost $8 million, not $6 million.
Planning Director Jeff Daugherty said commissioners felt it was best to draw on the $6 million rather than wait and see if another investor will take over the project and finish the work.
The letters of credit to build infrastructure expired Oct. 14, but developers were given another 120 days because they promised to finish work.
Instead, the developer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October.
Foreclosure of the bonds is the latest twist in ongoing troubles for the river development. On Friday, the club’s Chapter 11 filing was converted to Chapter 7 status in a Cheyenne Court.
A Chapter 7 filing allows for the liquidation of assets and sale of nonexempt property to pay creditors. Chapter 11 status allowed the owners of the riverside golf resort and housing development to continue operating and reorganizing the troubled financial affairs under court supervision.
According to court documents, there will be a meeting of creditors at 10:30 a.m. March 4 at the Fremont County Courthouse in Lander.
Court documents state that creditors don’t need to attend the meeting but should consult a lawyer regarding rights.
Documents show the club has 546 creditors in the case.
Court documents submitted at the time of the Chapter 11 filing showed that the club was reporting $91.48 million in liabilities and $9.78 million in assets. The club owed about $78 million to creditors with secured claims, such as liens or mortgages, and about $13.25 million to creditors with unsecured claims.
Originally owned by Dick Edgcomb, the project ran into trouble in 2004 when creditors filed a petition in U.S. bankruptcy court. The group, composed of unpaid contractors and Canyon Club investors Allan Tessler and Edward Artzt, sought to force Canyon Club Inc. into involuntary bankruptcy.
In January 2005, New York-based Dolan, Pollak & Schram Development Co. LLC wrested control of the project from Edgcomb. A partner in the deal, Steve Schram, at the time characterized the deal as a leveraged buyout.
His firm arranged for loans totaling $67 million from Bar-K Mortgage Inc., a company owned by Reno, Nev., casino owner Barney Ng. The loans were arranged to pay off $50 million in debt and provide enough capital to finish the development, which was then renamed Snake River Sporting Club.
Dolan, Pollak & Schram arranged to take over sales of lots and club memberships, and a partner, The Greenbrier Resort & Club Management Co., was to run the club.