Posts Tagged Vail Daily

Cordillera Golf Club settles legal dispute, plans sale – Denver Business Journal


 

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.

 

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Cordillera Golf Club bankruptcy case includes litigation with members – Denver Post, 7/27/12


 

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, jmossman@denverpost.com

 

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