Updated: Deadline passes with no resolution on Empire Ranch Golf Course

Continual checks to determine if anything was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Nevada on the Empire Ranch Golf Course sale disclosed nothing despite a deadline passing in the Carson City case.

With that deadline gone and a Friday filing to determine if a backup or reorganization plan is coming, a Bay Area man saying he had made an offer of $3.2 million for the property surfaced but said that offer was no longer on the table. John Browning, who attended a Northern Nevada Development Authority luncheon, said his earlier offer was made to Dwight Millard, Empire Ranch owner and debtor in possession.

He said efforts he made to conduct due diligence hadn’t worked out and he has moved on to determine if there was interest in some type of development at the city-owned Eagle Valley Golf Course complex. He said he had talked to Mayor Robert Crowell and others in the city.

Crowell confirmed he was introduced to Browning, was told there was a $3.2 million Empire Ranch offer by Browning earlier, and Browning had turned his attention to Eagle Valley. The mayor indicated he was unaware of other particulars.

There was a $3.5 million offer and the bankruptcy court ordered the sale to a group in California, but the deadline appeared to have passed without the deal being consummated.

Efforts to check on progress or lack of it proved unsuccessful. Attempts also were made without success to reach Millard and his Reno-based bankruptcy attorney.

The case has been drawn out over months with creditors, including Carson City government, monitoring progress on the potential sale. The court-ordered sale was to satisfy debts, back taxes, utilities, attorneys’ fees and the like with Carson Creek Resort, LLC, the anticipated buyer if the deal closed.

Earlier this month it appeared the sale to Carson Creek Resorts was imminent, but a few days later there was a hitch that delayed it. Dwight and Sandra Millard at that point indicated the prospective buying group would transfer at least $1.3 million of the $3.5 million sale price to take care of what was owed GSR Investments, LLC, which was more than $1.2 million.

GSR Investments, holder of the first priority deed of trust, basically is Garth Richards, a developer whose holdings include Silver Oak Golf & Conference Center.

In a document entered with the court on Sept. 10, this wording was included:

“In the event the sale is not consummated and is terminated for any reason, the debtor shall have until Sept. 25 (this Friday), to file a new motion to sell on any existing or new back-up offer or a plan of reorganization. Failure to do so will result in dismissal of this case.”


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