Trustee's sale scheduled for ASC property

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— American Skiing Co. faces its first local deadline Dec. 17 in foreclosure proceedings filed by Fleet National Bank on an outstanding loan balance of $41.8 million.

The loan is secured in part by the 44-acre Tennis Meadows property in Steamboat Springs.

Routt County Treasurer Jeanne Whiddon has set the date for a public trustee's sale at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday in December.

If American Skiing's real estate division, ASC Resort Properties, hasn't succeeded in reaching an agreement with Fleet to renegotiate the terms of the loan by Dec. 17, the resulting sale could lead to the company losing the assets pledged to secure the loan.

American Skiing's chief financial officer Mark Miller said in October his company is in negotiations with Fleet and he is optimistic about the outcome.

The original amount of the loan was $81.9 million. The outstanding principle is $41.8 million. The assets securing the loan extend beyond Colorado to Utah and Vermont. Other assets the company is in danger of losing include undeveloped land at The Canyons near Park City, Utah, a lodge at The Canyons, the Mount Snow Grand Summit Hotel in Vermont and undeveloped land at Killington, Vt.

Tennis Meadows is a flat parcel of land several hundred yards from the base of the gondola at Steamboat and adjacent to the resort's largest parking lot. The parking lot is not affected by the foreclosure.

Former ASC chief executive Les Otten stood before the Steamboat Springs City Council in December 1997 and described his vision for a second base village in Tennis Meadows complete with a people-mover gondola to ferry arriving skiers to the base of the slopes.

Whiddon filed notice of the public trustee's sale in October, giving ASC 60 days to "cure the redemption."

Essentially, ASC needs to satisfy the bank before the sale. That might not necessarily mean coming up with the entire outstanding amount. Making the loan payments current might be sufficient, effectively reinstating the loan.

At the end of 60 days, if the redemption has not been cured, the sale proceeds. Typically at a trustee's sale, there might be no outside bidders and the bank would be the successful bidder on the property. However, another entity could acquire a "certificate of purchase," by bidding $1 more than the lenders.

The third party would be required to deposit a cashier's check for $41.8 million with Whiddon, and she would then disburse the monies to the various lenders.

ASC Resort Properties would still have another 75 days to recover its property through a process known as "owners redemption." ASC Resort Properties would have to pay off the holder of the "certificate of purchase," as well as paying fees, expenses and interest to involved parties.

If the company were to pursue that route, it would have to formally file its intent to do so within the first 60 days of the 75-day redemption period.

Finally, after the 75 days has passed, junior lien holders on the properties securing the debt would have a crack at buying a certificate of redemption and acquiring the deed to the land.

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