Foreclosure proceedings halted

ASC gets 30-day reprieve from lenders on Tennis Meadows

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— Creditors have temporarily halted foreclosure proceedings on undeveloped land owned by American Skiing Co. Resort Properties, including the 44-acre Tennis Meadows Complex in Steamboat Springs.

American Skiing Co. announced Wednesday it has entered into a "30-day forbearance agreement" with primary lender Fleet National Bank and other secondary creditors on $63 million the company owes. The agreement essentially stops foreclosure proceedings and other remedies available to the lenders while the two sides continue to negotiate.

The Tennis Meadows Complex was to be included in a Dec. 17 public trustee's sale scheduled by Routt County Treasurer Jeanne Whiddon.

"We are encouraged by this favorable development which provides additional time to resolve ASCRP's real estate loan defaults," said B.J. Fair, American Skiing Co. chief executive officer. "Recent negotiations have been very productive."

ASCRP is the real estate development subsidiary of American Skiing Co.

The Tennis Meadows is one of several parcels of undeveloped land American Skiing Co. used to secure the loans. Fleet has also foreclosed on land at the company's resorts in Park City, Utah, and Killington, Vt.

Tennis Meadows is a flat parcel 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.

At one time, ASC had plans to create a second base village at the Tennis Meadows complete with a people-mover gondola to ferry arriving skiers to the base of the slopes.

Erik Preusse, director of strategic planning and corporate communications for American Skiing Co., said ASCRP remains in default on the loans and that there is no guarantee the company will reach agreement with Fleet and the other lenders on a restructuring plan.

But he said the forbearance agreement gives the company reason to be optimistic.

"Clearly this is a sign that the negotiations are bearing fruit," Preusse said. "We have been making progress and this is good news.

"Ultimately, we are trying to put ASCRP in a position where it is out of default and we are able to pursue some real estate development activity."

ASCRP is separate from Grand Summit Resort Properties, the American Skiing Co. subsidiary that oversees the company's Grand Summit resort hotels including the Steamboat Grand. Grand Summit Resort Properties also defaulted on construction loans it owed Textron Financial Corp. but was able to reach a restructuring agreement with Textron on Oct. 2.

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