February 26, 2013 in Business

Silver Mountain auction expands to draw bidders

New sale process allows buyers to buy some or all resort assets
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Kathy Plonka photoBuy this photo

A skier takes advantage of the snowy conditions at Silver Mountain in Kellogg on Monday. The Oregon company trying to sell Silver Mountain Resort has extended the auction process until March 18.
(Full-size photo)

On the Web: For more information about the Silver Mountain Resort auction, go to

http://www.ameribid.com/ upcoming-auctions/auction- detail/?id=193174

The owner of Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg has extended an online auction for the property in expectation of getting more qualified bidders.

As it stands, 20 potential buyers have signed nondisclosure forms and have been given access to the resort complex’s financial records, said J. Murph Yule, of Waterford Development Corp., a Boston-based management consulting firm.

An original January deadline to sell parts of the resort, ski area, golf course and other properties was canceled and the deadline extended to March 19, Yule said.

The current owner, Jeld-Wen Inc., of Klamath Falls, Ore., bought the resort in 1996. Since then the company has spent about $60 million to transform Silver Mountain into an all-season destination, Yule said.

The Silver Mountain Resort auction includes an indoor waterpark, a property management contract for more than 270 condo units, another 14 commercial units, the 1,600-acre ski resort and its Morning Star Lodge, the nine-hole Galena Ridge golf course plus a restaurant and other development property. Also included in the sale is the 3-mile-long Silver Mountain gondola that carries people from Kellogg to the lodge.

Jeld-Wen announced in 2010 that the company planned to sell Silver Mountain along with several other destination resorts it owned to focus on its core business of manufacturing doors and windows.

Jeld-Wen sold three resorts in southern and central Oregon that year.

Handling the online bidding is AmeriBid, a Tulsa, Okla.-based auction operator.

Yule said the original auction with a January deadline left people confused. The new sale was modified so a buyer can purchase any or all of the different assets being sold, he said.

Yule said he doesn’t have an approximate value for the total resort and adjoining properties.

Shoshone County Assessor Jerry White said there is no single assessment for the entire resort, with each part being assessed separately. For instance, the indoor water park is assessed at $5.2 million, while the golf course is assessed at $1.7 million, he said.

John Pellow, a spokesman for AmeriBid, said tax assessments aren’t a good indicator of market value. “That is why an auction is such a good method for selling a property like this,” he said.

Yule said this isn’t a standard auction, in that high bidders are not guaranteed a sale. Jeld-Wen could reject any offers it considers too low, he said.

In addition, the owner will not likely announce sales of the auctioned properties until a few weeks after March 19. The delay is customary for real estate deals so the buyer and seller can arrange final details.

Mike Berry, president of the Colorado-based National Ski Areas Association, said the current market for selling a ski resort is a good one.

“It all depends on the specifics, such as whether the property has been upgraded. And that seems to be the case here (for Silver Mountain Resort),” he said. “It’s in good shape in a growing part of the country.”

Just last year Colorado-based Vail Resorts Inc. spent about $20 million on two Midwest ski resorts, Berry said.

“It’s a pretty good market, actually,” he said.

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