Amelia Island Plantation Files for Bancruptcy
Atlantans love to head to Amelia Islandjust south of the Georgia/Florida line on the Florida coast for vacations and getaways. Apparently the economy has kept many of us at home as a sharp decline in revenues has forced resort operator Amelia Island Company to file for Federal Bankruptcy protection.
Interim Financing for Amelia Island Provided by Wealthy Residents
“The company said it would not have sufficient cash to meet its Nov. 20 payroll without access to a debtor-in-possession loan facility. It employs more than 825, down 275 positions from its staffing level prior to the recession.
Amelia Island Co. said it had signed an agreement with a group of of wealthy investors who own homes at the Plantation to provide it with $18 million to $20 million debtor-in-possession financing. The Red Leaf Investors, led by long-time resident Robert C. Smith, will provide funding as well as long-term strategic and asset management services in an effort to enhance operations and improve financial performance.
“This debt restructuring will pave the way to the profitable operation of our resort,” Jack Healan, president of Amelia Island Plantation, said in a release. “They are providing immediate interim financing with the intent of becoming long-term equity partners in the Company, which we welcome.” Atlanta Business Chronicle
RESORT PROPERTIES UNDER ECONOMIC PRESSURE
Sea Island, another luxury resort operator on the Georgia Coast, had previously succumbed to economic pressure and made many changes as lenders stepped in to take a hand in the operation of the resort. Sales in Kiawah Island have also slowed during the present recession. Amelia Island held out longer than most and anticipates sales to rebound in 2011.
Brokerage Revenue Down Sharply
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports revenues are down from 75 million in 2007 to an estimated 57 million in 2009, A loss in profits is predicted for the year.
“AIC (Ameilia Island Company) anticipates that the severe decline in business meeting, vacation travel and the real estate brokerage business is not permanent and that its business will recover by 2011,” Court Documents
Time Is Ripe to Purchase High End Resort Property
Given the economic realities high end resorts are operating under, the time may be ripe for purchasing luxury resort property along the Georgia and Florida coast.