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The Interpreter

Whither Conneaut Lake Park Now?

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A. Judge orders mediation, likely to happen in mid-January:

http://www.goerie.com/judges-seeks-compromise-in-conneaut-lake-park-bankruptcy

B. The last sentence is hopeful...

C. I have lost ALL respect for the Meadville Tribune. They COULD have reported this last night/early this morning. They doubtless will--later today. Instead, they deliberately and with great self-interest chose to hide this vital information for their community behind a click-bait article that gave only The Beach Club information and encouraged checking back later-- trying to get people to subscribe to their website, visit often (so they have to subscribe), and buy the print edition. A conscious strategy. Unless they are just woefully incompetent. Either way, a pox on them. Fie!

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An appeal from the judge's preliminary ruling on The Beach Club insurance proceedings is already planned:

http://m.meadvilletribune.com/news/local_news/judge-says-mediation-needed-to-settle-conneaut-lake-park-s/article_5083a4dc-90b4-5bb6-af00-2732dd6bdd99.html?mode=jqm

Again, the Meadville Tribune deliberately (or negligently) withheld critical news in order to serve its own pecuniary interests. Shameful and petty.

TWO WORDS could have been added to yesterday's news teaser:

Mediation Ordered.

That they weren't is truly pathetic.

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The Wall Street Journal Bankruptcy Reporter has picked up a one liner on the Meadville Tribune's last story--that the Judge ordered mediation.

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How exactly can money from the insurance claim be used to pay back debts when the policy was taken out by the group leasing the club?

 

This whole thing is still one big mess. I'm sure nobody wants to see the park close, but I don't see how they have any other option at this point. Considering how much they lost this year, I don't see how they'll be able to get enough money to pay back existing debts while still paying current taxes as well.

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Update:

 

Major developments occurring at yesterday’s hearing in US Bankruptcy Court included the awarding of $478,000 in Beach Club insurance proceeds to local taxing authorities in partial satisfaction of back taxes, and the ordering of mediation between the creditors and Trustees of CLP to reach an agreement on a consensual plan of reorganization. Judge Deller expressed his desire that all parties commit to reaching an agreement that would eliminate the need to consider competing plans (revitalize or liquidate).

 

Both the Trustees’ and Taxing Authority’s proposals were reviewed in detail by the Judge and each sponsor directed to amend their plan for clarification.

 

A number of citizens attended the hearing both in Erie and Pittsburgh and were recognized by Judge Deller to make comments. All were very supportive of the continuation of CLP and were believed to have favorably impressed the Judge.

 

The Trustees of CLP have long felt strong support from area and regional residents, and truly appreciate the extra effort put forth by supporters such as Janata Hampton of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau (organized bus transportation to Erie) and all who took the time to attend the hearing on our behalf.

 

All in all, it was a good day in that we moved $478,000 (47%) closer to meeting our outstanding tax liability.

 

Please stay tuned and supportive…

Conneaut Lake Park's Facebook

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How exactly can money from the insurance claim be used to pay back debts when the policy was taken out by the group leasing the club?

This whole thing is still one big mess. I'm sure nobody wants to see the park close, but I don't see how they have any other option at this point. Considering how much they lost this year, I don't see how they'll be able to get enough money to pay back existing debts while still paying current taxes as well.

It appears to be the bankruptcy judge's theory that Pennsylvania law provides that taxes owed on an insured property are to be deducted from an insurance settlement and paid. Park Restoration contests this and has already said it plans to appeal.

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Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park attempt to lease Hotel Conneaut without court approval and to a vendor who apparently has no hotel experience but is a finance professor and once ran the Beach Club and concessions at the park:

http://m.meadvilletribune.com/news/hotel-conneaut-to-reopen-with-new-operator-in-new-year/article_73489a90-a9a1-11e5-9ef0-dff20af330e3.html?mode=jqm

Hoo boy!

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The terms of the contract are even more ridiculous. The trustees get 12.5% with a guaranteed minimum of $20,000 the first year, with that minimum increasing by $10,000 each year the contract is renewed. How exactly do they expect the hotel to make that kind of money?

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I wouldn't stay there under any circumstances.

The last time I did, I thought I heard scratching in the next room. That room's occupant, an ACE friend, heard the same thing, but thought it was in mine.

When I got home, I noticed there were tiny bite marks on my luggage. My friend later told me his had a hole chewed through the bottom.

Uh, no.

Just no.

Not to mention no air conditioning, no elevator, linens that looked like they were last washed years ago, no shower, and a musty, musty smell--as if the roof had been leaking. Loud, loud music from downstairs that went on til 2 AM....it was...an experience. Not to be repeated.

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So now we're not only bumping ancient threads, but we're preparing current threads for being bumped years from now?

 

This site gets better by the day. :D

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In this business, that which does not get better may well go bankrupt. A little site reorganization, if you will.

Terp, up and at'em since 3 AM...today.

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Park Restoration has appealed the judge's decision awarding part of the Beach Club insurance proceeds to pay the debts of another, alleging a Fifth Amendment taking--taking private property for public use without just compensation. The case was referred to ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution) yesterday.

http://www.goerie.com/appeal-filed-in-conneaut-lake-park-bankruptcy

Terp will not be commenting about the merits, or lack thereof, of the appeal--as he cannot. And that's all he can even say about that.

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Local lawyers indicate mediation on the main bankruptcy case is slated for next Tuesday. Separately, February 29 a hearing is set as to the proposed competing reorganization plans (taxing authorities vs. the Park Trustees).

Lastly, no mediation has yet been set as to the issue of the Beach Club insurance proceeds appeal (Fifth Amendment taking alleged, etc.).

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The Meadville paper, which charges for access, claims the new Hotel Conneaut will honor reservations/deposits made with Park Restoration, the former operator.

A. The park had said they would not.

B. Depending on the bankruptcy resolution, there may not even be a Hotel Conneaut.

I'd not be reserving there. For dozens of reasons in addition to those above. Caveat Emptor Maximus!

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In December, Conneaut Lake Park lost $68,143.19. The cumulative loss since the December 2015 bankruptcy filing is $713,121.18.

http://www.communitynewslinesville.com/index.php/conneaut-lake/2496-headlines-for-january-25-2016

This is in addition to the debt af the time the bankruptcy was filed.

How much longer can this debt hole keep getting deeper and deeper?

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I'm honestly surprised they've been given as long as they have. I don't see how any amount of mediation can result in a positive outlook for the park unfortunately.

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Local legal sources indicate that the Bankruptcy Judge delayed release of the Beach Club insurance proceeds and has required the tax creditors to provide affidavits as to their cash reserves within 10 days.

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Conneaut Lake Park's water park expected to open this summer

 

 

 

VERNON TOWNSHIP — Conneaut Lake Park's water park is expected to be back in operation this summer, according to Mark Turner, executive director of Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park.

A major leak in one of six 4-inch pipes that circulates water in the water park has been found and will be repaired, Turner said at Tuesday night's meeting of Trustees at the Crawford Business Park in Vernon Township. The water park's two 50-horsepower water pumps that move water through the system also have been rebuilt, Turner said.

The water park, which has a lazy river inner tube water ride and a water slide, hasn’t been in operation for about 10 years. Plans call for the lazy river portion to be in operation in June with a kiddie pool in operation in July and the whole water park operating by August, he said.

http://www.meadvilletribune.com/news/local_news/conneaut-lake-park-s-water-park-expected-to-open-this/article_5102eb5e-a2c3-5268-b441-914efe324da1.html

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Having read between the lines of the documentation of this fiasco so far, it seems to me the court has shown interest in preventing the closing and dissolution of the park. I'm not implying immorality or anything, but a lot of decisions seem designed to give the park every opportunity available to not fail. So if it comes down to the court to allow or disallow opening of the water park, I would expect them to allow it.

Whether that will be enough, having read between the lines so far, I would be a little surprised. I still hope, though, I don't like to see the loss of any park.

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Make no mistake--the goal of a bankruptcy judge in a business reorganization bankruptcy is to maximize recovery for creditors while allowing the bankrupt a fresh start--IF there is a viable, working plan for continuing the business. Liquidation is a distinct possibility here.

And predicting judges and juries is a fools' errand....

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