Monday, May 28, 2012

Company wants to invest in shuttered Paradise Valley resort

Mountain Shadows resort,
Courtesy of OZ Architects Inc. Solage Hotels and Resorts wants to bring a social environment to Mountain Shadows resort, which is in danger of foreclosure.

A luxury hotel development and management company is in negotiations with the owner of the Mountain Shadows resort to help brand the long-shuttered hotel and keep it from foreclosing.

Officials say Solage Hotels and Resorts is planning to invest a "substantial amount" of money in the historic resort.

The 68-acre Paradise Valley property, at 56th Street and Lincoln Drive, went into default on a $32 million loan in April, according to Ion Data, a Mesa-based real-estate analysis company.

A trustee's sale has been set for July 26.

Mountain Shadows owner Robert Flaxman said he has reached a preliminary agreement with the Solage group that will keep the sale from happening.

According to the agreement, Solage also would manage the property.

Flaxman said both sides are committing eight-figure sums to the project.

"We would become joint-venture partners of the entire product, with more than enough equity going to pay off the loan," he said.

Robert Watson, president of Solage Hotels and Resorts, said he wants to bring a very social environment to the resort and make it a large amenity for the surrounding community.

Solage and its sister company, Auberge Resorts, have at least eight resort properties in North America, including Solage Calistoga and Auberge du Soleil in northern California, as well as Esperanza in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Watson said this includes more than 20 restaurant groups within those resorts.

Watson said the independently branded luxury resorts are approachable, and he has similar plans for Mountain Shadows.

"We don't like our resorts overly exclusive. We intend to make Mountain Shadows very much a part of the community, and expect locals to take advantage of the resort, and look at it as their's," Watson said. "From the guest's perspective, it will be a more engaging environment."

Flaxman said Solage has been involved with the development of Mountain Shadows since 2006, but got more involved in April and now is deep in the planning process.

On Thursday, the Paradise Valley Town Council will review a revised special-use permit application to develop the resort. The plan will include specifics about the site plan and other aspects of the proposed project. The vetting process will include two additional council work-study sessions, June 7 and June 28.

The Planning Commission will have about 75 days to review the application, with a Sept. 11 deadline to submit a recommendation to the town council.

by Philip Haldiman - May. 24, 2012 12:55 PM The Republic |

Company wants to invest in shuttered Paradise Valley resort

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