Posts Tagged David Wilhelm
- Mark Harden New Media Editor- Denver Business Journal
Cordillera Golf Club LLC, an Eagle County golf and residential complex that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June, said late Wednesday that it had “completed successful mediation” in a legal battle with property owners and creditors.
Cordillera — which operates as the Club at Cordillera in Edwards, near Beaver Creek — also said that it has agreed to be sold by the end of the year. The settlement is subject to court approval, it said.
In a statement, Cordillera said it “has completed successful mediation with all major parties [in the dispute] including the Cordillera Property Owners Association (CPOA), the Cordillera Transition Committee (CTC) and the Official Creditors Committee (OCC).”
The mediation, it said, “has provided a framework for resolution of suits among membership and ownership over financial matters, dues structures, ownership rights and the future of the club facilities of Cordillera.”
Those facilities include three golf courses and a teaching course as well as an athletic club and three clubhouses with restaurants.
Cordillera has some 1,100 homeowners, several hundred of whom had joined in a class-action lawsuit against the club.
The dispute did not involve the adjacent Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, which is separately owned.
“I am happy that we were able to come to a resolution of disputes that have affected our homeowners, club members, the community and my family for more than two years,” club owner David Wilhelm said in the statement. “It’s time to move on in the most positive way.”
Under the settlement agreement, “the parties agreed that the club will be sold prior to year end 2012,” Cordillera’s statement said.
“It is expected that all cash bids for the operating assets for the club will be received by Dec. 3,” the statement added. “In the event of multiple bids, an auction will be held on Dec. 10 to select the highest and best bid. In the auction process, Cordillera will likely be sold as a single asset. The sale will close before Dec. 28.”
Cordillera in June filed for Chapter 11 protection after failing to reach “a mutually acceptable agreement with certain stakeholders in the community.”
The filing came in the wake of dueling lawsuits involving property owners and Wilhelm, with one issue being a decision not to open some of the club’s golf courses last year, according to Vail Daily coverage of the issue.
The Chapter 11 filing (download here) listed both assets and liabilities ranging from $10 million to $50 million.
By John Mossman
The Denver Post
The Cordillera Golf Club bankruptcy case, shifted from Delaware to Colorado last week, is complicated by litigation between owner David Wilhelm and 610 club members that has gone on for more than a year.
Wilhelm and his management company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection June 26 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, where the company is incorporated. The filing came on the same day a $12.7 million loan was due to Alpine Bank of Colorado.
“The (Chapter 11) process will allow the club to operate its ongoing business while it resolves the outstanding conflicts and prepares a plan of reorganization to emerge a healthier company,” Wilhelm said.
The bankruptcy and litigation involve only the Club at Cordillera, not the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, which is a separate entity and remains open for business.
For the second year in a row, Cordillera’s Valley golf course is the only one of the four Cordillera courses open.
One of the largest exclusive golf communities in North America, Cordillera covers 12 square miles in the heart of Colorado’s Vail Valley near Edwards. It consists of three 18-hole courses — designed by Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin and Tom Fazio — and a short course designed by Dave Pelz.
Last spring, Wilhelm promised to open all four golf courses but opened only Fazio’s Valley course and laid off dozens of workers.
Current and former club members sued him in a class-action lawsuit, saying that if he was going to open only 25 percent of the courses, they wanted 75 percent of their dues back.
Members say the Wilhelm Family Partnership collected $8 million in membership dues last year and paid itself almost $1 million while failing to open three Cordillera golf courses, thus violating the membership agreement.
The lawsuit asks that the 2011 dues be repaid and that all of the membership deposits be refunded. Such a payout could total $108 million.
Wilhelm then sued the members for $96 million, claiming they were trying to drive him out so they could take over.
Last week, the case was transferred to Judge A. Bruce Campbell in Denver’s federal bankruptcy court.
Chris Celentino, a bankruptcy attorney representing Cordillera, said Alpine Bank has agreed to extend credit financing through the summer season, allowing “more time to work out a long-term solution that will enable the club to restore itself.”
In a related matter, District Court Judge Frederick Gannett of Eagle postponed a contempt-of-court hearing against Wilhelm based on his failure to provide requested information.
Gannett told the Vail Daily on Wednesday that if Wilhelm’s attorneys want him to recuse himself from the case because of alleged bias, he would do so but only if appropriate legal documents are filed. Gannett is a member of another golf club also in bankrupcty.
John Mossman: 303-954-1479, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vail, CO Colorado
Judge Christopher S. Sontchi punted the case to Colorado, where it landed before Judge Bruce Campbell in Denver’s federal bankruptcy court.
“The judge made the determination that this is where Cordillera’s past, present and future members are, so this where the case needs to be,” said Cheryl Foley, one of the lead plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit against Wilhelm and the Wilhelm Family Partnership.
Campbell held a status conference Friday afternoon to figure out what he has in front of him.
“Everything filed in Delaware has to be moved here,” Foley said.
Wilhelm’s Cordillera Golf Club LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month in Delaware, where the company is chartered.
“The Delaware judge’s ruling was meant to create an opportunity for meaningful discussions toward resolution between the club ownership group and its adversaries,” said Chris Celentino, the bankruptcy attorney representing Cordillera Golf Club. “I think the impetus is to encourage the debtor’s adversaries to take a more positive view toward working with the club to reach a productive resolution.”
In a related criminal matter, District Court Judge Frederick W. Gannett postponed Friday’s contempt of court hearing against Wilhelm. The hearing is tentatively set for Aug. 6 to 8.
Celentino and others with Cordillera have said the litigation against Wilhelm stems from a small and vocal minority.
But according to court documents, 623 people are eligible to be part of the group suing Wilhelm; 610 are officially in, and 13 have opted out.
It was 609 until Thursday, when one more person joined the class-action lawsuit.
“That’s not my definition of a small group of people. Characterizing this as a small group of unhappy members is delusional,” Foley said.
The Delaware bankruptcy trustee appointed a committee representing the unsecured creditors. That committee includes six club members, Foley among them, and two people from trade organizations.
“The bank and debtor have agreed to an interim financing agreement to provide more time to work out a long-term solution that will enable the club to restore itself,” Celentino said.
Wilhelm and the Wilhelm Family Partnership filed bankruptcy the day a $12.7 million loan was due to Alpine Bank. The bank has agreed to extend credit through the summer.
The Wilhelms and some Cordillera Club members have been locked in litigation for more than a year.
Last spring, Wilhelm promised to open all four Cordillera golf courses but opened only the Valley course and laid off dozens of workers. Some of the members — now 610, to be exact — sued him in a class-action lawsuit saying opening only the one course violated the membership agreement.
Their lawsuit asks that the $8 million in 2011 dues be repaid and that all the membership deposits be refunded — that could total $108 million.
Wilhelm sued them for $96 million, claiming they were trying to drive him out so they could take over.
On June 26, 2012, the Cordillera Golf Club filed for bankruptcy. A quote from the press release states that “We had hoped to avoid filing Chapter 11, but we were unsuccessful in reaching a mutually agreeable settlement with certain stakeholders in the community, said David Wilhelm, Chairman of the Club at Cordillera. The process will allow the Club to operate its ongoing business while it resolves the outstanding conflicts and prepare a plan of reorganization to emerge a healthier company.”
Click on the link below to see the full press release.
What does all this mean? I’m certainly not one to predict the ultimate outcome but I would be concerned about my Club membership fee and if I will ever see any value returned to me.
There were other documents included with the press release including a Q&A and Inquiry Guidelines. Click on the links below to see each of those documents.
This is such a sad situation. Three of the Clubs golf courses are closed and who knows what condition they will be in if and when they finally reopen. There are lots of questions regarding property values and how will this impact the real estate market in Cordillera. So far sales in 2012 are up compared to 2011. There were only 3 sales between 1/1/11 and 7/4/11. However, YTD there have been 8 sales. It will be interesting to see what happens to sales over the next few months. I talked to a fellow real estate broker who just had a client put a CVC property under contract the day before the bankruptcy announcement. The client was reconsidering their purchase in light of the announcement.
Stay tuned. Who knows how this will all turnout.
Here is the latest update on all the legal happenings in Cordillera courtesy of the Eagle County Times. This ongoing soap opera seemed to be heading in the right direction when David Wilhelm resigned as managing partner. Here is the latest:
by Clayton Moore
What’s going on with the (now) Class Action Lawsuit involving the Wilhelm Family Partnership and the members of the Cordillera Golf Club?
Well…it was NOT a good day, yesterday, in Federal Court – for the cause of the Wilhelm Family Partnership.
The WFP filed just weeks earlier to move the case to Federal Court (after the lawsuit attained Class Action Status) – that status achieved by a previous ruling from District Court Judge Fred Gannett. The Plaintiff’s in this case (Golf Course Members, et al) filed with District Court – to get Class Action status. (Click Here)
Yesterday the ruling from Federal Court was handed down. The WFP’s attempt to move their Case to Federal Court was rejected by the Ruling of Judge William J. Martinez – a U.S. District Judge. This case is now back in the hands of District Court and Judge Fred Gannett.
So what can reasonably be expected to happen next?
Cordillera insiders have insisted privately that this recent WFP “move” to try and get this lawsuit into Federal Court was no more than an attempt at a delaying tactic in the Courtroom.
Know This: There has absolutely been no attempt by local Alpine Bank to delay the repayment of their ~$13.7 Million dollar loan – that the Wilhelm Family Partnership currently has with Alpine. It has been reported that this (interest only?) loan is due in it’s entirety no later than June 2012. Alpine for their part has shown no fear of (jumping into) this litigation as a 3rd party litigant – to protect their $13.7 Million Dollar loan – that is secured (in part) by the pristine condition of the 4 Cordillera Golf Courses.
ECT’s question: Who is going to pay to maintain those Cordillera courses this Spring, when/if the WFP (declares bankruptcy?) as their next move in this now (multi-year) lawsuit?
The Cordillera Property Owners Association recently received two letters. One from, the former managing partner of the Cordillera Golf Club, and Dr. Jeffrey L. Rush, the new Managing Member of the Cordillera Golf Club. The property owners received the following letter from Lois Deusen, the President of the Cordillera Property Owners Association. Click on the links below to view the letters.
To all Cordillera Property Owners:
The CPOA Board has received two letters regarding the litigation which we want to share with the community. The first is from Dr. Jeffrey L. Rush describing the restructuring of the Club at Cordillera. The second is from David Wilhelm offering to settle the lawsuit against the CPOA and the CTC. The letters are attached and speak for themselves.
As always, we welcome the opportunity to resolve the turmoil in the community and will be taking all appropriate steps to do so. In the meantime, the lawsuit proceeds. We are at the first stages of discovery. Written discovery has been propounded and depositions are being scheduled. We have a trial date of April 2013.
Thank you for your support and continued patience,
Lois M. Van Deusen
Cordillera Property Owners Association
Cordillera Update from the Eagle County Times: Alpine Bank – Backs Off in ongoing Cordillera Litigation
December 11, 2011 by eaglecountytimes
by Paul Drake and Della Street
…in a surprise move for some observers…local Alpine Bank ‘rescinded without prejudice’ their legal request for a ‘Limited Receiver at the Eagle County District Courthouse late last week.
As reported last week by the ECT (Click Here) Alpine Bank filed in District Court for a ‘limited receiver’ to be appointed by the Judge…because Alpine’s Note to the Cordillera Golf Club, LLC (read:Wilhelm Family Partnership) was behind in monthly payments due Alpine, according to Court documents.
Late this past week (presumably because Alpine was paid? and Alpine’s loan to the CGC, LLC – is now current?) Alpine backed off their request – from the week before (Click Here) to read the recently filed Court document.
There are still many more ‘unknowns’ in this case than ‘knowns’. Presumably, based on the fact that there isn’t a ‘limited receiver’ appointed by the Court – the Cordillera Golf Club, LLC can legally send their Annual Membership Dues notices to current members and expect to be paid in full during the January 2012 time frame.
It is a well documented fact – that last year at roughly this time – David Wilhelm (owner of the CGC, LLC) made promises (via emails) to existing members – that if they paid their dues on time and in full ALL Cordillera Golf Courses would open at the beginning of the Golf Season (2011) in Cordillera (Click Here from June 12th 2011).
Because of changing financial conditions at the CGC, LLC Mr. Wilhelm did not (as promised) open all the Golf Courses last year – a fact – that is now being litigated against David Wilhelm in a separate legal action – from Alpine Bank’s action.
Insiders at Cordillera believe it’s going to be some time before all these lawsuits are resolved. The ECT folks think so too.