Johnfmh

Johnfmh
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I was up at Timberline over the weekend and have a few observations. First, despite the rainy weather, the Davis area seemed to be doing quite well. Lots of traffic and people came up for the Arts Festival on Saturday. Restaurants and shops in Davis teemed with people, both on Saturday when I arrived and Monday when I left. Even the valley seemed busy. People were actually lining up for gas at the filling station and some of the condos in my development were actually rented out despite Timberline being closed. Bottom line: there may be some light at the end of the tunnel once the resort’s legal issues are resolved. However, I do not see anything improving with the resort until we have new ownership. That continues to be the sticking point.
 

jimmy

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Very Lewis Carroll. The resort would only be worth $12.4 million if it had real infrastructure: modern lifts, high capacity snowmaking, a new lodge, etc. I would love to see am honest appraisal of the resort’s value.
John you get ten bonus points for the perfect literary reference.

There is a creditors meeting on June 13th. Not a court hearing, just a meeting where the US Trustee asks the debtor a bunch of questions about assets + liabilities under oath. There is a motion hearing scheduled for June 26th. Looks like First United (or whoever the largest creditor is, can't remember) filed a motion for change of venue to move the case to the Federal Bankruptcy Court in WV. From what I understand, these cases can drag on for awhile- the debtor has exclusive right to file their plan for reorganization for 120 days, but that time can be extended by the Court up to 18 months. Then after they file their reorganization plan, they have 2 months to get acceptance by the creditors of their reorganization plan- so if they get 18 month extension + 2 months to get approval, you are looking at 20 months. After that "exclusive" time is up, then the creditors are allowed to file their own plan. Additionally, at any point, a creditor can file a motion to convert the Chapter 11 into Chapter 7 and force liquidation- they have to show cause why it should be converted (or dismissed). Section 1112(b)(4) of the Bankruptcy Code sets forth numerous examples of cause that would support dismissal or conversion. For example, the moving party may establish cause by showing that there is substantial or continuing loss to the estate and the absence of a reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation; gross mismanagement of the estate; failure to maintain insurance that poses a risk to the estate or the public; or unauthorized use of cash collateral that is substantially harmful to a creditor. It seems like a creditor should be able to show cause for conversion in this case, but this isn't an area of law with which I am familiar, so I have no idea if a bankruptcy court judge would view Timberline's antics in the same way as the rest of us do. Also during the pendency of the case, the debtor is required to submit monthly reports re: operating costs, etc to the US Trustee, and if they fail to do so, that can be a basis for the US Trustee to seek conversion to Chapter 7 or dismissal altogether.

So that is a long way of saying, an actual resolution could happen relatively quickly if a creditor gets aggressive, or a long way off if Timberline is granted lots of extensions to file their plan with the court.
I hear the creditors meeting was postponed until July 3.
 

Johnfmh

Johnfmh
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Would there be any motivation for the creditor group to try and negotiate with the owners before the meeting? Maybe to try and negotiate a sale before taking the nuclear option—i.e. conversion to chapter7
 

Norsk

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I believe that the Timberline owners have asked the bankruptcy court to approve hiring an investment bank out of Philly to sell the resort (or raise capital, but I think we all know how unlikely that is under present ownership). Apparently this investment bank has experience selling other regionally significant resorts (Montage perhaps, which went through bankruptcy in the 2013 timeframe). Seems positive to me because the investment bank is unlikely to take on the project unless they believe they can get something done. Return on time and all that.
 

Johnfmh

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Interesting. The resort is about the same size as Timberline, but I think that’s where the similarities end. There are no large resorts near Timberline like Killington or Okemo. The Mid-Atlantic also does not have nearly as much resort choice as New England. From DC, Timberline is one of just a handful of west of the Allegheny Front resorts within day-trip distance. Bostonians have many, many more choices. The Washington metro area has more people, more $, and far fewer choices. Consequently, I think the land value of the resort is probably worth a bit more, but not $12.5 million—Timberline’s fantasy price.

PS I was in Idaho recently and went hiking at Bogus Basin. Had my scariest experience on a ski slope—a close encounter with a female mountain lion. Anyway, had a chance to talk to one of the mountain operations people at Bogus. It has a good thing going for sure. Simplot donated the land and the resort is run as a non-profit. The infrastructure there is great for what it is—they have three detachables and are installing a fourth this summer. Terrain looked awesome. Visited Brundage also and the nearby resort town of McCall—another awesome looking place. I need to visit Idaho in the winter. It”s more than famous potatoes.
 
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jimmy

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@Johnfmh I don't see that big a difference. Timberline has been run as a non-profit for years. They just don't get the part about investing in infrastructure.

I was doing one of those surveys about which states have you visited a few months back. I found it curious that I have visited every bordering state but have never been to Idaho. I agree about it being time to visit.
 

Living Proof

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@Johnfmh

I was doing one of those surveys about which states have you visited a few months back. I found it curious that I have visited every bordering state but have never been to Idaho. I agree about it being time to visit.
Jimmy,
Just get to the Jackson Gathering this year, ski Targhee. Sort of a 2 for 1, new ski area, new state. Have a great summer, some day we will have to catch up.

I've not commented in this thread, but, heart goes out to those who have lost a major ski area, including the local economy and those who work there.
 

Kayakkeith

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From Timberlies page...

Thx for sharing!

*****

"Homeowners:

The immediate costs of criminal prosecution by the county for paid motel taxes, Canaan Valley PSD motions, as well as our costs for continuing the bankruptcy process in good standing have created a moment in which Timberline is now unable to continue the process in a way that benefits us all.
We have approved a liquidation of all ski assets, both on and below ground.

Unfortunately, The State has been unwilling to acknowledge that the owners provided infrastructure and created a utility which has supplied clean water without interruption since 1987. Presently, the Canaan Valley PSD is squatting on land owned by a debtor in possession, and using at its will groundwater resources without remuneration. At the same time, a utility which was wholly created by an owner of the resort has no information about the management, costs, and legal fees associated with the receiver. Furthermore, that attorney, employed by the receiver, has begun to bill the three debtors for his activities.

For this reason, the owners of Timberline who are also the developers of the utility believe that the best course of action is to liqidate all ski assets in order to protect its investments. We had

Thank you for your attention to this notice. The insistence by the Canaan Valley PSD and its and the county on its relentless and malicious criminal prosecution in order to gain both receivership and government forfeiture status, which has explicitly not been denied by the county prosecutor under advisement, has led us to this point.

Fred Herz"
 

Johnfmh

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@jimmy This was my first time in Idaho where I actually stopped to smell the roses and roses abound in the state. I need to make a winter trip. The only downside of the state is that it is two flights from WAS versus just one to SLC. Also, the natural snow record at Sun Valley, the closest big destination resort to BOI, has been lackluster compared to the SLC resorts.

Back on topic, what the heck does this statement mean? Chapter 7 conversion? Clearly, the government’s (county, state, federal) strategy of putting maximum legal pressure on the owners seems to have prevailed.
 

Johnfmh

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The latest news is that the owners are threatening to timber the mountain to raise money for their legal expenses:


Burning down the village to save it hardly makes any sense. This sounds like a ploy to me.
 

The Colonel

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The latest news is that the owners are threatening to timber the mountain to raise money for their legal expenses:


Burning down the village to save it hardly makes any sense. This sounds like a ploy to me.
They apparently need money to hire good lawyers for owners to minimize chances for serious jail time for several of the owners. If they cannot sell the property for a profit, selling the trees would give them a source for cash. Not sure how this would happen play out in bankruptcy court or with the creditors.
 

Johnfmh

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From what people are saying on Timber-lies Facebook, it probably won’t happen because of bankruptcy court rules, The US Trustee in consultation with creditors would have to approve such actions before they can go forward. I emailed a point of contact at Friends of Blackwater and they aren’t too concerned either at this point for the same reason.
 
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