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Bright’s Creek abruptly closed operations last week

MILL SPRING – Bright’s Creek Golf Club LLC closed its doors last week after no viable bids were made during a recent bankruptcy sale.

 

Receiver Marc Rudow sent a letter to members, property owners and employees of Bright’s Creek on Dec. 27, saying he had no choice but to close the club.

 

“As you all know, in July 2016, I was appointed Receiver for Alianz Trinity Development, LLC, (“Alianza”) and Bright’s Creek Golf Club, LLC (“Club”) by the Federal District Court,” Rudow said in his letter. “In October of 2016, Alianza filed for bankruptcy as a Chapter 11 Debtor in the Southern District of Florida.”

 

Rudow said since October 2016, the Receiver has received the necessary funding to continue operations from Alianza’s secured lender, Lantern Business Credit LLC through the bankruptcy.

 

Bright’s Creek was put up for a bankruptcy sale in August 2017. The 4,600-acre golf and resort community in Mill Spring was being sold through a Section 363 sale approval process with bids due to the United States Bankruptcy Court Southern Division of Florida. Avison Young, a commercial real estate services firm out of Toronto, Canada was awarded the sale listing.

 

Rudow said the parties to the bankruptcy were hopeful the process would generate bidders for the property and although there was a great deal of interest from many potential investors, the process did not generate any viable bidders.

 

“As a result, Lantern has sought relief from the Bankruptcy Court stay to sell or acquire the property through a state foreclosure sale. Alianza and the Committee of Unsecured Creditors have objected to this approach, according to Rudow, and have filed separate lawsuits against Lantern.

 

“The ongoing disputes in the bankruptcy and the new lawsuits are preventing the Receiver from receiving the necessary funding to continue Club operations,” Rudow’s letter said. “As a result, the Receiver has no choice but to close the Club.”

 

Bright’s Creek officially closed on Dec. 27, the same day Rudow sent the letter. The golf course will be winterized and a reduced staff retained for the maintenance and oversight of the property, according to Rudow. Members will not be charged dues until Bright’s Creek reopens.

 

Located at 2222 Palmer Rd., Mill Spring, Bright’s Creek includes a Tom Fazio designed golf course and clubhouse, a member’s lodge with 11 rentable suites, an 11-stall equestrian center with 30 acres of paddocks, more than 120 finished custom homes, six condominiums and more than 3,000 acres for future real estate development under the approved master plan, according to a release from Avison Young in August.

 

Bright’s Creek has been in foreclosure at least a couple of times from its lenders and was ordered in September 2016 to be in a temporary receivership to oversee its management.

 

Lantern Business Credit LLC filed the case last year in the Western District of North Carolina-Asheville Division against Bright’s Creek owners Alianza Trinity Development Group LLC, out of Florida.

 

Lantern Business Credit claimed it loaned Alianza Trinity Development Group $10.8 million and there was a breach in the loan agreement and post-closing agreement, breach of the security agreement and breach of the note, according to 2016 court documents.

 

Avison Young said the previous owners invested more than $100 million in improvements to Bright’s Creek, including infrastructure such as roads, water, sewer, power, natural gas and fiber-optic service to each of the finished lots, a state-of-the-art phased water treatment facility on-site to provide for the future expansion of the water treatment needs and the treated irrigation for the golf course in perpetuity.

 

The current land plan for Bright’s Creek includes up to 1,370 units for residential development and plans for a resort hotel, outdoor shooting club and miles of hiking and biking trails.

 

The letter that receiver Marc Rudow sent to members, property owners and employees of Bright’s Creek on Dec. 27 is as follows:

 

Dear members, Property owners and employees of Bright’s Creek:

 

As you all know, in July 2016, I was appointed Receiver for Alianza Trinity Development, LLC, (“Alianza”) and Bright’s Creek Golf Club, LLC (“Club”) by the Federal District Court.

In October of 2016, Alianza filed for bankruptcy as a Chapter 11 Debtor in the Southern District of Florida. Since that time, the Receiver has received the necessary funding to continue operations from Alianza’s secured lender, Lantern Business Credit, LLC, (”Lantern”) through the bankruptcy. The parties to the bankruptcy were hopeful that the process would generate bidders for the property, one of which would ultimately acquire the property through an auction sale.

Although there was a great deal of interest from many potential investors, the process did not generate any viable bidders. As a result, Lantern has sought relief from the Bankruptcy Court stay for the purpose of selling or acquiring the property through a stat foreclosure sale. Alianza and the Committee of Unsecured Creditors have objected to this approach and have filed separate lawsuits against Lantern. The ongoing disputes in the bankruptcy and the new lawsuits are preventing the Receiver from receiving the necessary funding to continue Club operations. As a result, the Receiver has no choice but to close the Club.

The Club will officially close today and all Club operations will cease at this time. The golf course will be winterized and a reduced staff will be retained for the maintenance and oversight of the property. The members will not be charged dues until the Club reopens.

I would like to express my appreciation for the dedication, participation and input of the members and property owners over the past sixteen months. The contributions have enabled the Receiver to better manage the property during this difficult time. I also want to express my gratitude to the employees of Bright’s Creek for their perseverance, patience and unrelenting good work during the course of the Receivership.

I am hopeful that this closure will be temporary and that in the coming year the Club will find itself under new ownership, which will be able to develop and successfully manage the property in the years to come.

Sincerely,

Marc Rudow

Receiver