Semiahmoo courts potential buyer once again

Published on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 by Brandy Kiger

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If all goes as planned, Semiahmoo Resort could reopen its doors in the near future. 

For the third time in as many years, an offer is on the table for the troubled resort and the latest deal includes the purchase of the resort complex along with the two affiliated award-winning golf courses. “They’ve been looking at this for quite awhile,” attorney Harry Chesnin said. “We’ve been in talks with them for the last 30 days.” 

Chesnin is the attorney and the official spokesperson for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, the majority owner of the Semiahmoo Resort.

While there is still potential for the deal to fall through, Chesnin is optimistic. “It’ll be 30 days before we know something for sure. They are doing their due diligence as they should and making a decision as to whether they want to move forward or not,” he said. “We’re in the feasibility period right now, and once they make a decision, it’ll be at least 30 more days until the deal is final.”

The offer is serious enough to warrant the hotel company to issue 60 days written notice to the remaining employees at the Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club and Loomis Trail Golf Course. “Under the WARN Act, we are required to notify employees if we are no longer going to own or operate the property ourselves,” Chesnin said. “We don’t know what the result will be, but in order to comply with the law we’ve given our employees notice effective May 3.” Around 30 employees were given notice late last week.

More than 300 people lost their jobs when the Semiahmoo Resort and Spa proceeded with its shutdown in December 2012. Semiahmoo Resort Company, LLC attributed the closure to the recession and their continued inability to sell the resort, along with the financial conditions of one of the LLC’s members, Trillium Corporation.

An earlier sale planned in 2010 to Armada Investments fell through when the buyer could not arrange financing, and another potential buyer, Warnick + Co. of Phoenix, pulled out of negotiations early in 2013. 

Regardless, Chesnin was hopeful about the sale. “They appear to be very interested,” he said. 

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