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131-year-old Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wisconsin to Close;
Almost 300 People to Lose Jobs

By Judy Newman, The Wisconsin State JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Oct. 09, 2010--Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan will close by Dec. 8, ending the jobs of nearly 300 employees, and AnchorBank, Madison, will take ownership of the historic property in the Lake Geneva area.

At a sheriff's sale in Walworth County on Thursday, Anchor submitted a proposal to take over the financially struggling resort for $19.97 million. No other proposals were received.

Anchor had filed a foreclosure case against Lake Lawn in 2009, saying the resort was in default on a $51.9 million loan.

Subject to court approval, Anchor will own the property in late November or early December, Lake Lawn general manager Peter Zellmer said, in a notice of the closing to state officials Friday.

Anchor assistant vice president of marketing Emily Campbell said Anchor's offer is not a bid.

"We had provided the loan on Lake Lawn and they didn't pay us back," Campbell said. The sheriff's sale was "just a step in the legal process so the ownership and title can get transferred to us," and Anchor can then sell the property, she said.

Zellmer said Delavan Resort Hospitality, which operates Lake Lawn, gave employees notice Friday of the resort's planned closing. The jobs of 126 employees, 110 part-time workers and 50 seasonal workers will end over the next 60 days, Zellmer said in his letter to the state.

Established in 1878, Lake Lawn covers 250 acres on Delavan Lake and includes 281 rooms and an 18-hole golf course.


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