This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on August 10th, 2011 and was written by Jeremy Deutsch.
One of the largest group of companies in the country is eagerly waiting to see who will take the reins of the financially troubled Tobiano resort.
The Jim Pattison Group, which owns a 13-acre parcel of land within Tobiano, told KTW it is optimistic a new owner will be found, one who can carry on with the original plans of the resort.
“We’re hopeful that a new owner with a vision comes in that could carry it out and help build [Tobiano] out over time. That will be the best thing for the project,” said Michael Lee, vice-president of developments for the Jim Pattison Group.
The company bought the parcel of land in hopes of one day developing the space into townhomes.
But, citing the recent economic struggles in the golf-resort market, Lee said it’s unlikely such a project will get started any time soon.
“Until that [the market] turns around, I don’t think we would be confident enough to move forward,” he said.
Word of the resort’s financial woes broke in June, after the real-estate side of the resort and golf course was ordered into receivership by a B.C. Supreme Court.
Pagebrook Inc. and Kamlands Holdings Ltd., companies owned by developer Mike Grenier, owe the Bank of Montreal debts totalling roughly $26 million.
Meantime, the Bowra Group, which was appointed receiver of the golf resort by the court, has since put together a sales package for about 100 potential buyers.
Douglas Chivers, a representative with the Bowra Group, said the company intends to start a larger sales campaign by taking out ads in national publications such as the Globe and Mail newspaper and Financial Post magazine.
He noted the company has received some interest in the resort, mostly from local people and groups in B.C. and Alberta.
“It’s a little early for a lot of people,” Chivers said.
The deadline for offers is Sept. 30.
Afterward, the receiver will review the offers and begin negotiations with interested buyers.
A local group called Save Tobiano has come forward with the goal to keep the course locally owned and open to the public.
Its website, found here, seeks ideas from the public to help keep the resort locally owned.
Chivers said Bowra Group is also trying to get some form of a marina in place at the resort.
The financial downfall of the resort was in part blamed on the inability by the developer to secure funding to build a marina.