Utah company buys Daufuskie resort property

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Utah company buys Daufuskie resort property

By JOSH McCANN
jmccann@islandpacket.com
843-706-8145
Published Tuesday, May 17, 2011   |  481 Words  |  

A Utah company has bought much of the Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa from lenders who reclaimed the property from bankruptcy.

The Pelorus Group of Salt Lake City bought assets, including the resort's core, from Denver private-investment group AFG, according to AFG's chief operating officer, Don MacKenzie.

Pelorus and AFG officials declined to say what Pelorus paid for the property.

Pelorus, which specializes in acquiring and reviving distressed assets, is "very excited" about the resort's future and equipped and committed to restoring its status as a destination, said Rob Reynard, an attorney representing the company.

The deal closed May 10, MacKenzie said Tuesday. It includes the Melrose golf course and clubhouse; the resort's inn; its tennis, conference and equestrian centers; and four undeveloped parcels totaling about 16 acres, he said.

The resort, once a major employer on the sparsely developed island accessible only by boat, borrowed money from AFG before filing for bankruptcy in 2009.

AFG and other creditors took back the property securing their loans earlier this year, after the trustee overseeing the estate was unable to sell the property in its entirety.

COMPANY'S AGENT

Reynard declined to comment about news reports that raised questions about legal and financial woes of James Bramlette, Pelorus' registered agent.

Bramlette, who lost a $5 million private jet and $450,000 Mercedes sports car to bankruptcy, "once claimed assets in the millions but financed his lavish pre-bankruptcy by borrowing heavily to buy cars, planes and property," The Associated Press reported in August as Pelorus sought to buy a bankrupt Idaho ski resort.

Attempts Tuesday to reach Bramlette for comment were unsuccessful. He sought bankruptcy protection in 2008 and emerged from bankruptcy in February 2009, according to the reports.

Reynard said the company is focused on looking ahead.

"I can't comment on the past," he said.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Two pieces of the Daufuskie resort that remain in the bankruptcy estate are poised to change hands.

A court hearing is scheduled May 31 in Charleston to consider the sale of the Bloody Point golf course to George and Carmen Mullen of Hilton Head Island and the sale of a 7-acre maintenance area to Carolina Shores, LLC.

The Mullens have proposed to buy the golf course for $1.26 million.

George Mullen said he is considering how to best use the property if he succeeds in acquiring it.

"I don't have plans right now," he said. "We need to first see if we end up getting it."

Carolina Shores is an investment group that loaned money to the resort's previous owners, said Tobin Spirer, a spokesman for the resort's trustee. The group is bidding $300,000 to take back the land, according to court records.