Granby Ranch faces foreclosure as property goes to receiver
Ski area not in foreclosure, receiver says
Contrary to plans outlined last month, Granby Ranch’s lender has filed foreclosure proceedings, and the property has been placed in the hands of a receiver.
The lender, Granby Prentice LLC, filed a complaint with the Grand County District Court on Friday alleging Granby Realty Holdings owes Granby Prentice more than $62 million. The complaint requested the property be placed in the hands of a receiver.
Consultant Randel Lewis said he is the receiver for a large amount of Granby Realty real estate, but not the ski area itself. While it is early in what looks to be a complicated case, Lewis said on Wednesday that the ski area itself is not in foreclosure as of now.
The filing represents a drastic change from a letter Marise Cipriani, the owner of Granby Ranch, sent to the Granby Board of Trustees last month alerting the board that the property would be surrendered to the lender in lieu of foreclosure.
A deed in lieu of foreclosure would have given all real property to the lender and avoided foreclosure proceedings. A judicial foreclosure, which is a civil suit, could foreshadow a lengthy court process that could take years to resolve.
The foreclosure paperwork alleges the property is inadequate security for repayment because the property’s fair market value is less than what is owed to Granby Prentice.
Because of the complicated nature of a judicial foreclosure, Granby Mayor Paul Chavoustie had hoped Granby Ranch could avoid the proceedings.
“A deed in lieu would have been much quicker and better for the community in my view,” Chavoustie said. “They’d be able to sell the property much faster.”
It’s still unclear exactly what this could mean for the resort operations at Granby Ranch. Cipriani and representatives of Granby Ranch have not yet responded to requests for comment.
The filing urged the courts to place the property in the hands of a receiver because its current financial condition and Granby Realty’s “recent conduct” risks devaluing the property.
As the receiver, Lewis will maintain the value of the property facing foreclosure, most of which he said is undeveloped.
“In other words, not much is going to change,” Lewis said.
Lewis, who has extensive experience as a court-appointed receiver, said it is difficult to tell how long it could take for the foreclosure proceedings to resolve this early in the case.
“This one is complicated just by the long history between the lender and the borrower and the history of the property,” Lewis said.
The initial promissory note listed in the filing dates back to 2005. Additional notes and numerous amendments to those notes complicates the paperwork. Beyond that, the structure of Granby Ranch and related entities is quite intricate.
“Granby Ranch is the most complicated subdivision I’ve ever looked at,” Chavoustie added.
The property might sit in limbo for a while, but the mayor hopes the conclusion will bring a new era to Granby Ranch.
“Once the dust settles, once it is owned by the lender, I believe they shall not have trouble finding a buyer,” Chavoustie said.
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Grand County’s real estate transactions April 4-10 were worth more than $20 million combined.