Minturn developer Ginn will lose two resorts
MINTURN, Colorado ” The company that wants to develop Battle Mountain in Minturn, Colorado is losing two of its Florida resorts to bankruptcy.
The Ginn Company announced last week it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for two of its Florida resorts, and announced a sale and restructuring of two more.
The bankruptcy means a court will auction off the company’s assets at the Tesoro and Quail West resorts in Florida. Laurelmore, a resort in North Carolina, has been sold to a Georgia-based development company, and Ginn has given up an ownership stake in Ginn sur Mer, a resort in Grand Bahama.
The action was taken to satisfy $675 million in loans issued by Credit Suisse. Ginn and Credit Suisse negotiated to stave off foreclosure of the loan for much of 2008.
“All parties worked toward a resolution that maximized both the value of the properties and the homeowners’ interests,” Robert Gidel, CEO of Ginn Development Company, wrote in a press release. “We believe the resolution reflected in the master restructuring agreement achieves the best possible result for each of the projects under the circumstances.”
Company spokesman Ryan Julison said the liquidation and sale of the other resorts won’t have any affect on the Battle Mountain project.
“Every project is its own legal entity,” Julison said.
But Don “Toby” Tobin said the Battle Mountain project may be affected by developer Bobby Ginn’s overall financial troubles.
“My feeling is that the Ginn brand has been tarnished,” said Tobin, whose Web site, http://www.gotoby.com, has become a source of information about Ginn’s project. “I think it will be harder to have as successful a launch there as he’s had in the past.”
“If this (financial trouble) was just us, it would be a big deal,” Julison said. “But we’re in the midst of an economic slowdown that’s unprecedented.”
Tobin, whose Web site also watches other parts of the Florida real estate business, said the housing and financial slowdowns have hit hard at many development and construction companies.
He said billionaire investor Carl Icahn in early 2007 bought a block of stock in WCI Communities for $16 per share. He recently unloaded all his holdings in the company ” which is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has been de-listed by the New York Stock Exchange ” for 2 cents.
Minturn Town Manager Gary Suiter said Ginn company officials have told him the Battle Mountain project isn’t affected by the Chapter 7 filing in Florida. But the Battle Mountain project is on hold.
What that means is several town improvements Ginn agreed to provide are on hold, too.
Suiter said the town has about $600,000 in cash on hand for improvements at a town park and a scholarship fund for local high school seniors.
But another $11.6 million ” money dedicated to improvements at Bolts Lake, a recreation path and a town recreation center ” is in an escrow account and can’t be touched until the company gets its final development approvals from the town.
That could take a while. Suiter said town codes give developers two or three years to get their final approvals, depending on what type of project is being built. Developers can then file for extensions.
“We’re trying to get some of the escrow money released early,” Suiter said. “That way we can at least start the planning process for the recreation center.”
Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or email@example.com.