Alpine Bank to cut its ties to Cordillera


Bank auctioning $12.7M loan for Club at Cordillera

By Randy Wyrick

RWYRICK@VAILDAILY.COM

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, and maybe it won’t, said Mission Cap­ital staffers who asked not to be identified. Those Mission Capital officials said they’ve sold loans for 5 cents on the dollar, 100 cents on the dollar and everything 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, of Alpine Bank.

The Wilhelms have paid down the loan by $1 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 June 17, according to the offering memo.

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

Owners not tipping their hand

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

“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 did not comment Thursday.

Mission Capital’s appraisal puts Cordillera’s value at $50 million. That includes 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 a Mission Capital official handling the sale.

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

Cordillera cash clash continues

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 that 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, according to the Cordillera Transition Corp., a group of Cordillera property owners.

The Cordillera Transition Corp.’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. n, the memo says, bringing it from $13.7.

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