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July 17, 2009

Yellowstone Club Sold for $115M

The Yellowstone Club is changing hands and this may halt the slide into bankruptcy:

BILLINGS, Mont. — Montana's ultra-posh Yellowstone Club is in new hands, following a $115 million deal that the new owner hopes will close the door on the resort's much publicized descent into bankruptcy.

Eight months ago, the millionaires-only club was on the verge of liquidation, a victim of its prior owners' excesses and the broader economic downturn that choked off the flow of money fueling the club's rise.

On Friday, CrossHarbor Capital Partners of Boston bought the 13,600-acre private ski resort about 50 miles south of Bozeman at what was considered a bargain-basement price.

The firm's managing partner, Sam Byrne, had offered to buy the club last year for $470 million and had already invested more than $200 million in club real estate over the last several years.

Byrne acknowledged Friday the club's once-sterling reputation will need some polishing.

"It's going to take time to win back the trust of members and the community and re-establish the brand," he said. "We're confident that the place has a bright future."

The resort was nearly pulled apart last year during the bitter and high-profile divorce of its founders, Edra and Tim Blixseth. Later came revelations that the pair had drained tens of millions of dollars from the resort, helping push it more than $400 million into debt.

The collapse was extraordinary for an enterprise that counts Microsoft Corp.'s Bill Gates and hotel magnate Barry Sternlicht as members.

Those who are allowed to join must buy real estate with price tags that can top $10 million, and pay a $300,000 deposit. The privacy members thought their money was buying was shattered when the club's rolls were made public as part of its bankruptcy case.

I only need another $300,000 so that I can join and another $10M so that I can buy a lot. I am working on it as we speak. =)

Posted by Justin at July 17, 2009 04:46 PM