News broke late yesterday that Tobiano, the award-winning golf course resort and real estate development outside of Kamloops, BC, has entered receivership, pushed, it would seem, by Bank of Montreal while owing $26-million in debt (source: Kamloops This Week):
Word of the resort’s financial woes broke on Monday, June 13, after the real-estate side of the resort and golf course were ordered into receivership by the B.C. Supreme Court on June 9.
Pagebrook Inc. and Kamlands Holdings Ltd., which are both companies owned by Grenier, owe the Bank of Montreal debts totaling roughly $26 million.
The Bowra Group, which also took control of the troubled Mission Hill development in Kamloops last year, has been appointed receiver of Tobiano.
Grenier wouldn’t speculate on his future with the resort, but told KTW he was proud of what the development has accomplished — especially the golf course — in the three years since it opened.
“I think it’s the finest resort project in Western Canada,” he said, specifically noting the hard work done by employees at the development.
I’ve long been fond of Tobiano, Tom McBroom’s fine golf course set on a stunning piece of property that winds its way through the real estate development. My review of the course, from the year after it opened, can be found here. Rumors of a receivership had dogged the resort for some time, and it discussion of the resort’s future swirled after Miles Mortensen, who ran the club’s golf operations, left earlier this year to take a job in Winnipeg.
None of this means the course won’t be open. It is now in the hands of an operating company while the receivership process is worked through:
Despite the financial turmoil, it’s expected to be business as usual for the golf course and residents living at Tobiano.
Douglas Chivers, a representative with the Bowra Group, said the company intends to continue to operate the resort and golf course.
“It’s in no way shut down,” he said.
Though Chivers couldn’t give specific details on the future of Tobiano, noting the process is still in its early stages, he said the receiver could sell the resort to a new owner as a whole or sell individual lots.
“There’s a lot of options and possibilities,” he said.
Of course that wouldn’t be good for the golf course, which was always envisioned as a lure for real estate. Could it work as a stand alone product without the backing of the real estate and additional dollars to cover any losses? Hard to say — but it would be tough.
One thing is clear — the folks in Kamloops are anxious to keep Tobiano open:
Tourism Kamloops CEO Lee Morris was surprised to learn the resort was in financial trouble, but is pleased to hear the golf course will remain open.
She said Tobiano is very important to the overall golf product in Kamloops, noting the resort has been a factor in getting consumers to come to the area.
“I think it really helped take us to the next level as a golf destination,” she said.