Tamarack Ski Resort Lifts are Planned for Removal by Bank of America

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 6, 2011 11:25 am

From Associated Press:


Boise, Idaho – Bank of America plans to tear out two Tamarack Resort ski lifts causing a troubling situation for Idaho homeowners who hoped the failed Idaho vacation resort would be preserved fully intact for a potential buyer.

            After the resort defaulted on payments, Bank of America’s leasing division began filing paperwork with the state to remove the ski lifts.  The two lifts are vital to homeowners, and residents become weary that their removal will cause any potential Tamarack buyer to be less interested. 

            The two lifts are on state land and were not used last winter ski season.  One lift is mainly a transport for homeowners and the other provides high-speed access to the resorts northern boundary.  The northern boundary has intermediate and advanced ski runs. 

            Kurt Houston, operations chief for the agency’s southern offices says the Idaho State Department of Lands is currently processing documentation from bankers.   The Idaho State Department of Lands must sign off of the documentation because some of the lifts reside on state endowment land. 

            However according the banks proposal, the bolts securing the lift towers would remain intact so another lift could take its place.  Yet one reason for the default of payments is because the instillation of these lifts were so expensive in the first place.   These lifts defaulted a separate $250 million loan in 2008 making the resorts future uncertain. 

            Jean-Pierre Boespflug, the resorts majority owner is currently on the run and has been fined $5,000 a day for each day he has failed to appear before a judge starting last month according to the Idaho Press-Tribune.  His appearance before a judge was to discuss his responsibility to pay for the lifts.  This is all occurring even after Boespflug lost a multi-million dollar lawsuit to Bank of America. 

            While residents work with Steve Lord the homeowners lawyer, things do not seem be going well.   On July 14  an appeal will occur as the Tamarack Municipal Association tries to force a public hearing on Bank of America’s latest plans. 

            Fortunately a potential delay for the project exists, nature.  The ground and soil must be stable and dry enough for machine use.  This past year Valley County had an almost record-breaking snowfall season, making things a little more difficult. 

            Meanwhile Matthew Hutcheson who previously made a $40 million dollar offer says he tried to negotiate a deal on the lifts with the Bank of America but failed to make any agreement.  Hutcheson would prefer to keep the lifts and “would be open to negotiate with Bank of America Leasing if they were to approach him again.”