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Ski resort files for bankruptcy

The owners of a Sierra Nevada mountainside who planned to build California’s first major ski operation in three decades have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, prompting environmentalists to renew calls to stop the controversial project.

A representative of Dyer Mountain Associates said the company still intends to pursue its proposal to turn nearly 7,000 acres abutting Walker Lake in Lassen County into a four-seasons resort with golf, mountain biking, boating and fishing and several thousand dwellings and hotel rooms.

Merle Meyers, the owners’ attorney, said they filed for bankruptcy protection to avoid foreclosure on the property while seeking new loans or investors. “There is no intention of going out of business,” he said. “It is still a great project and needs great capital.”

Among the debts listed is nearly $200,000 in back taxes owed to Lassen County.

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The project has been slowed by financial and legal troubles and infighting. County voters approved a more modest plan in 2000. But the plan grew, along with criticism from environmentalists and others who feared it would harm the area’s quality of life, traffic, air, water and wildlife.

“We hope this [bankruptcy filing] takes the development proposal off the table,” said Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch. “The project does not pencil out economically, environmentally or from any other standpoint.”

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-- Tim Reiterman


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