Telemark Resort deal back in limbo
A deal to secure the future of the Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin, stalled once again in early April, creating uncertainty for organizers of the American Birkebeiner ski race and residents counting on jobs and income from Telemark.
Telemark Partners LLC, has been negotiating to buy Telemark and renovate it into an Olympic-level training center. The purchase agreement presented to Telemark Interval Owners Association wasn't acceptable, according to Mike Kocon, the president of the TIOA Board of Directors.
The TIOA closed the lodge in the fall and voted to surrender the property in a friendly foreclosure to Dick Short, a developer from Missouri, who now controls the property via the mortgage he holds on the lodge and roughly 1,000 acres that surrounds it.
"We need to have that purchase agreement rewritten, and it's just taken some time," Kocon said. "I'm optimistic that we're going to get this done."
For the American Birkebeiner, sooner would be better than later. Anticipating a record 9,000 skiers for the races in 2012, the Birkebeiner needs to secure permission to use the Telemark Lodge and the sections of Birkebeiner trail that crosses Telemark land.
Without that in place, organizers would have to pursue an alternate course option, possibly starting at Highway OO outside of Seeley, said Ned Zuelsdorff, executive director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.
"We can't be waiting months for an agreement to roll around," Zuelsdorff said. "The question is can we reach an agreement with whoever is in control of the property in the near future."
James Bolen, the executive director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce, said Telemark's survival depends on all parties committing to contribute.
"Telemark is a storied property with great potential," he said in an email. "Unfortunately, it has fallen into a state of repair that will require a new owner to commit millions of dollars to make it competitive again."
"Unfortunately, Bolen continued, "most people have been looking for what they can take from Telemark not what they can give to it. No one appears willing to negotiate in good faith. All sides are looking for what they will get once the facility re-opens but remain unwilling to 'give' or commit to financially assisting with expenses."
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