|By Kathleen Kreller, The Idaho Statesman,
BoiseMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 18, 2008 - Tamarack Resort temporarily laid off 100 of its 150 employees Friday after a judge ordered a receiver to take over management of the troubled Valley County resort, Tamarack's chief executive said.
The employees should be back to work by Nov. 3, when the receiver has money, Jean-Pierre Boespflug told the Idaho Statesman.
Employees were notified of the layoffs in a memo, Boespflug said.
Tamarack's layoffs were another piece of bad news for an Idaho economy already battered by layoffs, including more than 1,500 Micron Technology workers and Thursday's layoff of about 80 workers from Nampa's MPC Computers.
Boespflug said 4th District Judge Patrick H. Owen signed an order Friday naming a receiver, as demanded by Swiss bank Credit Suisse, which went to court after Tamarack defaulted on a $250 million loan from the bank. With interest, Tamarack now owes $273 million.
The receiver will replace top managers, including Boespflug and his partner, Alfredo Miguel, the principal investors in Tamarack. A receivership differs from a bankruptcy, in which management often remains in place.
Credit Suisse had feared Boespflug's $250,000 plan to winterize the unfinished Village Plaza was inadequate to protect the bank's investment.
Credit Suisse has said it will give a $10 million loan to fund a 90-day budget for more extensive winterization and pay the costs of getting Tamarack's ski hill ready in December.
Tamarack fought the receivership for months before conceding it was necessary because Boespflug and Miguel were running short of cash. But Boespflug said Tamarack wanted some limitations on the receiver's powers and better cooperation before signing the receivership agreement.
Tamarack managers had asked that budgets be reviewed by the courts, that they keep an office on site to advise the receiver, and that they continue to sell homes.
"We obtained cooperation on those three points, which sealed the deal," Boespflug said.
Real estate sales and construction at the resort came to a standstill earlier this year after Tamarack spent most of its loan despite a sluggish economy. Companies owned by Boespflug and Miguel unsuccessfully sought bankruptcy protection.
Boespflug said Tamarack will next present a budget proposal, which should be approved by Oct. 31 so employees can return to work by Nov. 3.
"With everybody's cooperation, we might be able to do it a little faster than that," he said.
Boespflug said some of the remaining employees are there to prevent degradation of the skiing facility and golf course. Others are reservation and booking agents.
Kathleen Kreller: 377-6418
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