Alpine Bank cutting loose from Cordillera |

Alpine Bank cutting loose from Cordillera

CORDILLERA – Alpine Bank is getting out of the Club at Cordillera controversy.

The regional bank has hired a New York City firm, Mission Capital Advisors, to auction its $12.7 million loan with David Wilhelm and the Wilhelm Family Trust, which acquired the Club at Cordillera in 2009.

This will be the sixth loan Mission Capital will have auctioned for Alpine Bank.

Maybe Alpine Bank will get the entire amount, maybe they won’t, said Mission Capital staffers who asked not to be identified. Those Mission Capital officials said they’ve sold loans for five cents on the dollar, 100 cents on the dollar, and everything in between.

The loan is categorized as “performing” in the offering memo. That means the Wilhelms are making the payments.

But that may not last. Several Cordillera property owners and Club members have said they’re leaving the Club, and several others already have. Annual dues are $13,800.

“It was a fairly complex deliberation that led us to this conclusion,” said Glen Davis with Alpine Bank.

The Wilhelms have paid down the loan by $1 million, the memo says, from $13.7 million to $12.7 million. They got the loan on June 26, 2009, and it’s due June 26, 2012.

Bidding opens Tuesday. The whole deal closes Friday, June 17, according to the offering memo.

When the loan is sold, the Wilhelm’s will still own Cordillera, but they’ll be in debt to someone new.

Cordillera property owners remain optimistic but declined to say whether they’ll be bidding, said Bob Vanourek with the Cordillera Transition Corporation.

“We are very optimistic about the future of Cordillera, regardless of who owns the note,” Vanourek said. “It’s an extraordinary place. We’re going through some difficult times right now, but that doesn’t change what’s wonderful about it. We’re doing our best to find a good solution for all the stakeholders.”

Wilhelm and Club at Cordillera officials had not commented by deadline.

Mission Capital’s appraisal puts Cordillera’s value at $50 million. That includes all four golf courses and the club facilities.

“This deal trades like any other bank debt. It just happens to have some spectacularly beautiful collateral,” said the Mission Capital officials handling the sale.

Mission has handled more than $26 billion in loan sales since 2002. The firm values and markets loans that are either not performing or are distressed, then puts them up for auction.

The loan sale is the latest chapter in the saga between Club at Cordillera owner David Wilhelm and some of the Club members.

Last year, Wilhelm said in a letter to members that the Club was running millions in the red, and he’d do whatever was necessary to protect the Cordillera brand and make his business profitable. His cost-cutting options included closing one or two of Cordillera’s four courses and allowing public play.

The $12.7 million loan from Alpine Bank is a small piece of Cordillera’s debt load.

When Wilhelm took on the Club, he also took on more than $100 million in obligations to some of Cordillera’s original members and investors, says the Cordillera Transition Corporation, a group of Cordillera property owners.

The CTC’s accounting review says the Club at Cordillera lost approximately $10.7 million between June 2009 and October 2010.

“We completely underestimated the magnitude and negative effects of the economic recession,” Wilhelm said in a letter to Club at Cordillera members.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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