Disputed Maine Resort Auctioned Off
Seasonal residents of Flagg’s RV Resort were unaware the park in York, Maine, was scheduled for foreclosure auction Friday (March 22), according to two campers interviewed.
The two seasonal park residents told Seacoastonline.com they paid Flagg’s owners or former owners, Morgan RV Resorts LLC of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., all or part of the money due by April 1 for the 2013 summer season.
Longtime summer park resident Melvin Riggs of Oklahoma said representatives from Morgan called him almost daily for at least a week, trying to get him to pay the remaining $3,700 on his estimated $5,200 summer lease prior to the April 1 deadline.
“They were trying to get us to pay the bulk of it early,” said Riggs, who learned of the auction only through contact with The York Weekly on Friday. Riggs said he’s made three payments totaling about $1,500 to Morgan, with the last and biggest amount of $3,700 scheduled to be automatically deducted from his credit card April 1.
“I kept thinking, what in the world, what is the big advantage of them getting it a week early?” Riggs said, a question he said he posed to the Morgan representative on the phone.
“She said, ‘We’re just trying to help you out,’” he said.
Pat Lee of Palm City, Fla., and her husband have been staying at Flagg’s every summer since 1967, and before then, Lee said, she went with her parents’ place.
Lee has paid Flagg’s the total summer bill of $5,000, she said Friday. She was not notified of the foreclosure auction, she said, but added, “I hope it sells and I hope the new owner has integrity. Why would someone buy it and kick everyone out?”
Said Riggs, “I just pray the people who bought it are campground people. It’s zoned for a campground, I don’t think someone could buy it and just put in a housing unit without the city’s approval.”
Town officials interviewed Friday said they were unaware of the foreclosure sale as well, and had no information as to its potential new owners.
Lister and Appraiser Luke Vigue said it takes six or eight weeks for information on new ownership to reach the town’s assessing office.
The auction was to be held at 9 a.m. Friday on site at 68 Garrison Ave., according to a public notice published in the Biddeford paper, The Journal Tribune, on March 8. The notice stated bidders had to deposit $100,000 by cash or certified check to qualify.
Neither Robert Moser of Morgan RV Resorts nor attorney Kevin Collins, of Wilmington, Del., who represents the mortgage company according to the legal notice, returned a phone call for comment.
The mortgage company is listed as MLCFC 2007-9 ACR MASTER SPE, LLC, according to the public notice. No contact information on the company could be found online.
Riggs said he didn’t receive a notice when Flagg’s campground was sold to Morgan in 2007. He didn’t know yet what he would do about this summer season, except to put a stop to the last automatic credit card deduction.
Lee said Morgan, a nationwide RV park company, has been selling numerous properties, such as Wagon Wheel in Old Orchard Beach.
Sun Communities Inc., with an office in Southfield, Mass., entered into an agreement with Morgan Resorts to acquire 11 RV parks for $135 million, according to a statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December. The 11 properties included Wagon Wheel and Wild Acres in Maine, and Peters Pond in Massachusetts.
No one with Sun Communities could be reached for comment.
Flagg’s has a value of $1.2 million, according to the town’s assessing database, available online at www.yorkmaine.org.
This past summer, life at Flagg’s appeared back to normal after many campers left amid controversy over Morgan asking about 10 seasonal campers to move so it could bring in six cottage-like rental units called “park models.”
Former York Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal at that time ordered the park models removed, saying they did not fit the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle. Town code does not allow manufactured housing in the park.
Flagg’s appealed the order, and when it lost the case with the town’s Appeals Board, brought a lawsuit against McDougal and the town in York County Superior Court.
The sides reached an agreement last spring, in which Flagg’s replaced the six units with RVs that met the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle.