Failing Resort Taking 2009 Reservations

January 8, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

A receiver likely will be appointed Friday to oversee the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park campground in Warrens, Wis., after a federal judge dismissed the campground owner’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, according to the La Crosse (Wis.) Tribune.
That means prospective buyers of the campground will deal with the court-appointed receiver rather than campground owner Van Der Molen Recreational Properties Inc., said John Harlan, who until recently was the company’s director of corporate services. Harlan is still assisting the company, which issued a press release Wednesday (Jan. 7) about the bankruptcy ruling and Friday’s hearing in Juneau County Circuit Court.
Reservations for the 2009 camping season are being accepted, Harlan said in a telephone interview.
At least one prospective buyer still is interested, Harlan said, but he declined to identify that person or entity.
“There remains a common goal to transfer this property to a new owner,” company owner Edward Van Der Molen said in the press release. “It is the intention of all parties to operate the campground until a new owner is in place.” He said his company supports the receiver’s appointment.
A federal bankruptcy judge Tuesday in Chicago dismissed the bankruptcy case, a move that had been sought by the Bank of Mauston.
In September, the bank filed a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit in Juneau County against Van Der Molen and various corporations that own parts of the Three Bears Resort in Warrens — which includes the campground, an indoor water park and a 93-room hotel. A Juneau County judge already has appointed Michael Polsky as receiver to oversee the water park and hotel property. Polsky likely also will be named Friday as receiver to oversee the campground.
The hotel and water park closed Sept. 15 and the campground closed for the season once the Warrens Cranberry Festival ended Sept. 28. The hotel and water park have not reopened.
“The goal is very much to try to sell the resort as a unified entity,” said Michael Van Sicklen, the lead attorney for the Bank of Mauston in the case. But it’s possible parts of Three Bears Resort could be sold to different buyers, he said.


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