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Conkling Marina owners return to Lake Coeur d’Alene

The previous owners of Conkling Marina & Resort on Lake Coeur d’Alene reclaimed the property in a public auction Monday afternoon.

Tom Kirkpatrick and other family members who operated the resort east of Worley from 2002 to 2007 took back the 16-acre site with a credit bid of $2.4 million – about $1 million below what they estimate they are owed, including legal fees, deferred interest and taxes. There were no other bidders.

“The heartache to go through to get to this point was something treacherous, I’ll tell you,” said Tom Kirkpatrick, 73. “But now, finally, relief.”

The family, which foreclosed on Paul Martinez of Seattle-based Prime Assets LLC, said they will scramble to get the marina up and running by the traditional April 1 start to the boating season.

“We hope to get some kind of semblance of order for our customers before the season gets really rolling, which is going to be tough,” Kirkpatrick said.

In a deal struck last week with Martinez, the Kirkpatricks agreed to surrender any claims on moorage lease payments and deposits received by Martinez prior to March 1. They also agreed not to sue him.

In exchange, Martinez agreed to abandon a claim that he owned the docks separately from the property subject to the foreclosure, and he agreed to relinquish furniture and appliances he had removed from the restaurant in recent weeks.

Kirkpatrick said the missing equipment, sitting in a Spokane Valley storage locker, is worth tens of thousands of dollars.

“He took everything,” he said. “He took the stove, the cooking range, the freezers, the ice makers, all the tables and chairs. He cleaned it out.”

The Kirkpatricks have told returning customers they will allow them to use their slips this year even though the family isn’t receiving advance payments those customers made to Martinez. Kirkpatrick estimated those payments may total $120,000.

“We are now the owners and now we will honor their deposits,” he said.

Customers can call (208) 691-9337 to make moorage arrangements for this season.

Moorage rates last summer ranged from $824 to $3,673 for the six-month season.