Still no word from the Swift-owned media chain, either The Union or Sierra Sun, but a default has been filed on Royal Gorge LLC by its lender. The background is here. The responses are here:
From Royal Gorge LLC:
Local newspapers have recently reported on a “Notice of Default” filed on our property by our lender. Please be advised that we are working cooperatively with our lender to resolve this matter.
An unfavorable weather cycle last season and a tough economy have proven to be very challenging for Royal Gorge and many other businesses in the region. But we are confident we will resolve this matter with our lender and continue operations “Business as Usual”.
Please note that Ice lakes Lodge in Serene Lakes is under separate ownership and is not involved in this matter.
Kirk C. Syme, Managing Partner, Royal Gorge LLC.
DONNER SUMMIT PROPERTY IN DEFAULT
ROYAL GORGE GIVEN 90 DAYS TO PAY OFF $16 MILLION LOAN
Nevada City, CA –First American Title Company filed a Notice of Default on the Royal Gorge property on Donner Summit June 23, 2011.
According to the notice, filed in both Nevada County and Placer County, Royal Gorge property owners owe Armed Forces Bank of Irvine (successor to Bank Midwest) an outstanding balance of $16,743,442.91.
If the balance is not paid within 90 days from the date of the notice, creditors can sell the property.
“The development proposal for Donner Summit never made any sense – economically or otherwise,” said Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch. “Now we turn our attention to a conservation resolution that permanently protects one of the truly iconic regions of the Sierra Nevada.”
In 2005, would-be developers bought the nearly 3,000-acre Royal Gorge property on Donner Summit, including the existing Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort, the upper reaches of the American River Canyon, and the headwaters of the Yuba River.
Two years later, they released an initial development proposal that would have carved the Summit landscape into a series of sprawling development projects – extending from the edge of Sugar Bowl and over the crest of the Sierra. In order to service the new subdivisions, developers proposed to remake Donner Summit with new roads through local forests, new dams in Sierra headwaters, and 200 acres of sewage ‘spray fields’.
Sierra Watch worked with local allies to build support for an alternative vision to permanently protect the irreplaceable values of the Royal Gorge property and Donner the Summit.
Default and subsequent sale may provide the opportunity to make their vision a reality. According to Mooers, “It’s our job to make sure that, if the property does indeed change hands, it moves away from speculative development and into permanent conservation.”