The Gaylord, Mich., property has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, saying that despite an improving operating performance, it has been unable to make payments on $7 million in long-term debt and owes back property taxes.
The company that owns Treetops Resort and Spa in Gaylord, Mich., filed for bankruptcy protection on November 25, court records show, The Detroit News reported.
Treetops Acquisition Co. LLC filed for Chapter 11, saying that despite an improving operating performance it has been unable to make interest or principal payments on $7 million in long-term debt and still owes back property taxes, the News reported.
The company said in a court filing that it plans to operate the resort while it restructures under bankruptcy protection and hopes to exit by early next year. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Daniel S. Opperman has set a December 4 hearing, the News reported.
The company said it purchased the Gaylord property—including five golf courses, 23 ski runs, restaurants, a golf school, hotel and conference center—for $26 million in 2002, the News reported.
Richard Owens, the general manager of the company since 2010, said in a court filing the resort has suffered “substantial operating losses and cash flow deficits.” The financial problems were “due in part to the declining economy (and the golf resort business generally in Michigan) and, in part, due to poor management.”
In 2010, the resort had a loss of $467,000 before debt payments versus a profit of $1.2 million in 2013. Total rounds of golf played rose from 48,843 in 2010 to 96,430 in 2013. Nights stayed rose from 20,967 to 34,303 in 2013. This year, net income is the same, while total rounds of golf played are 89,461 and nights stayed are 31,185, the News reported.
Gross revenue rose 72 percent from 2010-13 and the company has paid $1.2 million toward delinquent real and personal property tax. It also sold off some unused real estate last year, and for nearly the last two years has sought a debt-for-equity swap to reduce its obligations, the News reported.
Owens said it is critical the court approve access to debtor in possession financing “to provide a safety valve against adverse seasonal weather conditions depleting its revenues and to assure the general public that (Treetops) will remain open for business and will expeditiously complete its Chapter 11 reorganization in early 2015.”
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