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A federal judge this week cleared the way for Tamarack Resort to open, likely on Dec. 20, for what could be its last season. The lifts haven't run since March 2009 when the resort near Donnelly in West Central Idaho ran into financial issues with its major investor, Credit Suisse, and filed for bankruptcy reorganization. It opened during a real estate boom five years earlier. Credit Suisse is petitioning for liquidation, meaning the resort's equipment could be sold off piece-by-piece, closing it for good. This year's opening is largely the result of a push from people who bought homes at the resort. Tim Flaherty, director of the homeowners group, told the Idaho Statesman the resort will open at 9 a.m. the Monday before Christmas. “A lot of people said, ‘It can’t be done,’” he said. “We did it.”

Idaho’s Beleagured Tamarack Resort to Open, Possibly for Its Last Season

A federal judge this week cleared the way for Tamarack Resort to open, likely on Dec. 20, for what could be its last season.

The lifts haven’t run since March 2009 when the resort near Donnelly ran into financial issues with its major investor, Credit Suisse, and filed for bankruptcy reorganization. It opened during a real estate boom five years earlier and was described in an earlier New West feature as “last to open, first to close.” Credit Suisse is currently petitioning for liquidation, meaning the resort’s equipment could be sold off piece-by-piece, closing it for good.

This year’s opening is largely the result of a push from people who bought homes at the resort. Tim Flaherty, director of the homeowners group, told the Idaho Statesman the resort will open at 9 a.m. the Monday before Christmas. “A lot of people said, ‘It can’t be done,’” he said. “We did it.”

Flaherty reported 50 inches of snow at the top of the mountain, half that at the base and snowmaking at the snowboard park.

The homeowners plan to keep the resort open Thursdays through Sundays, with extensions during Christmas, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day and spring break. It’s scheduled to close April 3.

Flaherty said the operation will employ 65 people, with a payroll of $500,000. According to the Statesman, it’s good news for Valley County, where unemployment has skyrocketed to 20 percent since development at Tamarack stopped in 2008.

During the bankruptcy hearings, Credit Suisse Group suggested Tamarack owner Jean-Pierre Boespflug inappropriately used thousands in cash collateral without the bank’s permission to help fund efforts to water the resort’s golf course, according to an Associated Press report.

Boespflug says he authorized shifting $38,000 to maintain the golf course not because he was trying to divert money inappropriately, but because he had to make sure the facility wasn’t left to wither.

He insists everything was done to make Tamarack more attractive for a potential buyer.

So far, none has publicly emerged.

About Jule Banville

Comments

  1. Steve Eugster says:

    This piece does not ring true. Tamarack Resort has a fine ski area, the houses and other living residences are well done and of good quality, the place is well laid out and thoughtfully planned — it is a place of high value, lasting value.

    The author is not being realistic. A place of this quality, of necessity, has good prospects.

    There are those who are vying for ownership. Original investors and lenders may have to leave money on the table but the place will survive, and survive very well. The author is not merely defeatist, the author is not being truthful about the obvious facts of the matter.

  2. jason says:

    This author is just wrong. Two potential purchasers have made public offers. There are several other interested parties that have not disclosed their offers to the public. This is a great resort that will obviously not be sold as scrap pieces. The creditors are just trying to apply leverage to get what they want.