Yellowstone Club Officials Negotiate With Lender

By Beacon Staff

BUTTE – Officials with the Yellowstone Club and its lender began private negotiations Tuesday after a closed-door hearing with a federal bankruptcy judge.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ralph Kirscher said he hoped the two sides were making progress and could reach an agreement.

“What that is exactly, I don’t know,” Kirscher told a courtroom of lawyers and others with a stake in the bankruptcy hearing. He said he was giving both sides until about midday to come up with a deal.

“Negotiation in Chapter 11 is paramount to getting things done,” he said, adding that if the Yellowstone Club and its lender can’t reach an agreement, it’ll be up to him to sort things out.

Before the negotiations began, Kirscher held a closed court session, saying he needed to find out what was happening with the Yellowstone Club and its long list of creditors.

The club near Yellowstone National Park is a getaway for the extraordinarily rich, including Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.

The Yellowstone Club sought protection in bankruptcy court on Nov. 10. A $4.5 million loan recently arranged through Credit Suisse was enough to sustain the club for only three weeks.

Kirscher said the current economic turmoil is making it more difficult for the Yellowstone Club to make financial arrangements.

The Yellowstone Club was founded by billionaire Tim Blixseth and his former wife, Edra. She now controls it as part of their recent divorce settlement.