Facing foreclosure since April 2013, Telemark Resort in Cable, Wis., the iconic start of the American Birkebeiner, went to auction on Tuesday and sold to a Colorado-based private company, Newco, LLC.
Newco purchased the property at sheriff’s sale in Bayfield County Courthouse for $926,000 dollars. The only other bidder was the lien holder, Great Southern Bank in Missouri, according to a Birkie press release. The auction came after a Bayfield County judge ruled in favor or Great Southern Bank’s desire to pursue foreclosure of the historic lodge in August.
For fans of the American Birkebeiner, North America’s largest ski marathon entering its 41st year, the hope was that Great Southern Bank would purchase it and resell it to a group with plans of reopening the resort with ties to the U.S. Olympic Committee, WDIO reported.
Executive director of the Cable Chamber of Commerce James Bolen told WDIO Newco’s bid came as a surprise.
“The question is what they intend to do with it, they may not reopen the facility,” he said.
Newco hasn’t announced its intentions for the resort, but Bolen said they’d be meeting this week to discuss possible plans. The decision could be a huge blow or relief to the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, which recently hired a new executive director in Ben Popp.
“We have a 40 year history with Telemark … and for the past couple years we’ve been trying to secure a permanent start area at Telemark,” ABSF board member John Garrett told WDIO.
“Telemark has been an integral component of the history and legacy of the American Birkebeiner,” Popp said in a press release. “We look forward to working with the new owners in creating great events for years to come!”
Under the former owners, Ric Ahern and Steve Kaufman with Telemark Properties, Telemark closed for what it called “spring cleaning,” and did not reopen. Court documents showed that the electricity was turned off in late March, and WDIO reported that a sign saying the resort would open in mid-May was still on the door.