Moonlight Basin, LLP located in Big Sky, Montana, is a full-service ski, spa and golf resort and residential community positioned on over 8,000 acres. There are currently approximately 1,300 unsold entitlements situated on a uniquely beautiful mountain top setting. The enterprise was established over 15 years ago and to date has sold 340 luxury properties and has invested over $100 million in development and infrastructure. The property includes a 1,900-acre ski area with 85 trails and seven lifts; a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course; a full-service spa; food and beverage outlets; multiple retail locations; and a variety of real estate products, including homes, condominium units, home sites and estate parcels.
The company had obtained approximately $160 million of secured and unsecured loans, which were utilized to repay existing debt and shareholders and to fund future development projects. Given the extreme negative market conditions subsequent to funding, Moonlight was in default of the facilities with Lehman initiating foreclosure actions. Getzler Henrich (“GH”) was initially retained to assist the debtor in finding a priming DIP facility, which we did in just 7 days from initial contact with the company. After protracted negotiations, the incumbent secured lender offered a DIP facility on more favorable terms and the foreclosure procedures were stayed. At filing both debtor and lender requested that GH be named CRO and we were formally retained by the debtor.
GH has worked with the Debtor and its management team in streamlining operations, reducing expenses, reviewing capital expenditure programs, developing operating strategies for the lodge operations, enhancing operating profitability of the private golf course, and developing programs to increase skier visits and yield. As a result, Moonlight has borrowed considerably less under its DIP facility than originally projected.
In addition to our responsibilities as CRO and financial advisor, GH was retained to find potential acquirers of the property and has been actively soliciting offers. As part of our sell side responsibilities, we worked with the Debtor in performing a complete review of its real estate development plan. Using our real estate development resources and acknowledging the depressed market for second home luxury properties, we worked with management in redesigning its development plan for the remaining 1,300 units. This undertaking included a dramatic change to the composition of the ski base village as well as lowering price points on entry level units. The entire property is now positioned to capture its share of interested buyers as the real estate market continues to improve and transform itself to meet the consumer’s ever-changing demand.