Business

Buy a ski lift or an unfinished lodge at Idaho’s Tamarack Resort

Residents have kept ski operations alive at Tamarack Resort since its bankruptcy eight years ago.
Residents have kept ski operations alive at Tamarack Resort since its bankruptcy eight years ago. doswald@idahostatesman.com

Anyone interested in picking up a ski lift or an enormous unfinished lodge at Tamarack Resort should pencil in Oct. 17 on the calendar.

On that day, those and other assets at the bankrupt resort west of Donnelly will be put up for auction by Valley County. The county took control of the assets Aug. 29 for nonpayment of past-due property taxes.

The assets include the ski lifts, the unfinished Mid-Mountain Lodge halfway up the ski runs, three holes on the now-closed Osprey Meadows Golf Course and a “zip line” cable attraction.

The buildings and equipment are on state land Tamarack leases for its ski runs. NewTrac, the subsidiary of Credit Suisse that owns the resort, did not object to past-due tax notices regarding the improvements on state land, so the county moved ahead to take them.

The $1.5 billion resort opened in 2004 and went bankrupt in 2008. Its primary investor, Jean-Pierre Boespflug, disappeared in 2011.

The outstanding taxes are $5,000 on the golf holes and $73,000 on the other assets, according to the Valley County Treasurer’s Office.

In 2005, Tamarack installed the Tamarack Express and Summit detachable lifts to speed skiers and snowboarders to the top of West Mountain.

The 13,620-square-foot Mid-Mountain Lodge was constructed at the top of the Tamarack Express, but the interior on the wood-sided building was never completed.

Another chairlift, the Wildwood Express, was removed in June 2012 for money Tamarack owed to Bank of America.

Homeowners in the resort bought the small Buttercup lift from Bank of America, preserving ski-in, ski-out access to their slope-side homes.

The ski lifts and Mid-Mountain Lodge are just the latest properties to be seized. The county took ownership in July of 10 properties from West Mountain Golf, which owns the land on which a closed golf course is located.

Those properties are clustered around the Lodge at Osprey Meadows and include space for a spa, pool equipment storage, golf cart storage, dining and employee services, the course’s pro shop, and the pool and terrace at the lodge, the treasurer’s office said.

The county plans to sell the properties as quickly as possible, Commission Chairman Gordon Cruickshank said.

“We’re not intending on hanging on to these properties — they’ll be sold in a few weeks,” Cruickshank said.

The county has plans to seize 35 additional parcels owned by NewTrac, which objected to the county seizing the land and the buildings on them. They include 14 condos that also serve as rental rooms in the Lodge at Osprey Meadows and buildings for Tamarack operations such as the ski maintenance shop, a former market and medical center, the Canoe Grill and Seven Devils Pub, Sports Dome and Wildhorse day-care center.

NewTrac has successfully delayed the seizures twice because of typographical errors in the past-due notices. The county plans to try a third time.

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