Montana’s fancy Yellowstone Club, which bills itself as “the world’s only private ski and golf community” has filed Chapter 11. Bill Gates is a member. Guess saving it didn’t fall into his philanthropic portfolio.
Our favourite article about this is from the Palm Springs paper about it. Surely, they are watching what happens in other resorts for the rich very carefully now.
The Desert Sun: Edra Blixseth, who lives part time at Porcupine Creek, a 240-acre estate in Rancho Mirage, is the club’s CEO. She and her ex-husband, Tim Blixseth, opened the millionaires-only club in 1999 on 13,400 acres in southwestern Montana’s Gallatin Mountains.
Spokesman Bill Keegan said the club filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal bankruptcy court in Montana. The move came just two months after the club announced an expansion plan through a partnership with the Arizona-based Discovery Land Company.
The gated, millionaires-only club boasts a private ski hill and golf course. It counts former Vice President Dan Quayle and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates among its 340 members.
In a statement to The Associated Press, the club said it had been unable to secure financing arrangements with its creditors and bondholders. It plans to reorganize its finances and emerge from bankruptcy “as soon as possible,” the statement said.
“We felt this step was necessary to address short-term liquidity constraints and preserve Yellowstone Club’s long-term future,” Edra Blixseth said.
Monday’s bankruptcy filing marked the latest in a string of shake-ups at the club. Its billionaire founders recently divorced, and in August the club settled a lawsuit brought by club member and cycling superstar Greg LeMond for $39.5 million.
LeMond and several co-plaintiffs had accused Tim Blixseth of trying to buy out their minority stake in the club for less than its true value.
After emerging from her divorce with control of the club, Edra Blixseth in September laid out plans to build 450 more houses and condos and amenities including a luxury spa, golf clubhouse, baseball field and more ski runs. Those plans are on hold pending resolution of the club’s financial woes.
Keegan says the club has financing in place for day-to-day operations and plans to be open for ski season. The club’s 600 winter employees still have jobs, but he said layoffs were possible.
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