Receiver turns attention to winterizing

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NEWFANE — Court-appointed receiver Alan Tantleff is getting ready for cold weather at Hermitage Club properties.

"My focus is preserving the real estate that is secured by the bank's mortgages," he said Friday in an email referring to Berkshire Bank, which foreclosed on the company's members-only ski resort at Haystack Mountain, golf course, four inns and several townhouses in February. "I'm turning my attention to winterizing the properties — ensuring that they are properly heated, that they have fuel deliveries and snow removal, that the golf courses' tee boxes and greens are protected, all the HVAC equipment is serviced, water lines are drained, and similar activities."

The foreclosure complaint was filed after the Hermitage missed payments on more than $17 million in loans. The Vermont Department of Taxes later shut down Hermitage establishments for failing to pay taxes.

Judge John Treadwell appointed Tantleff, of FTI Consulting, receiver in May. And a small group of Hermitage staff members has helped with maintaining the properties to preserve their value before a sale or public auction.

"We have a staff of people on the premises to transition to the winter," said Tantleff.

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His comments come in response to a question the Reformer had asked about getting chairlifts ready for the winter.

In letters to members via email, Hermitage President Harper Sibley has mentioned a $30 million loan that could see the ski resort reopen as early as December. He has not yet named the lender.

"I certainly hope that the borrower and lender can come to some agreement," Tantleff said. "Nothing would make me happier than to see the property reopen."

Windham Superior Court, Civil Division will host a hearing on Tantleff's reports at 2 p.m. Oct. 25.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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