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Telemark Lodge project stalled

The Telemark Lodge near Cable, Wis. (News Tribune file photo)

A planned $47 million project to bring new life to Telemark Lodge near Cable has stalled because of complications that arose during the purchase process.

Telemark Development Partners LLC announced Thursday it would not move into the next phase of the purchase of the Telemark at this time due to what it said were environmental and title concerns uncovered during the due diligence process.

"We remain optimistic these issues can be resolved in a reasonable period of time and will continue to pursue solutions to these areas of concern," Steve Hedberg, a partner in TDP, said in a news release. "Through our due diligence process we have found obstacles that have yet to be addressed so that we can be assured a clean title as required."

Hedberg and his partner Jim Kelly entered into a purchase agreement last November with Mt. Telemark Partners LLC, which bought the property for $926,000 in a sheriff's auction about four years ago.

According to a statement released by TDP, the due diligence process has taken far longer than they expected, and "just when the developers are close to removing one issue another seems to

come to the surface which also needs time to be resolved."

The statement did not elaborate on the nature of the environmental and title concerns.

Originally built for $6 million and opened in December 1972, the lodge fell on hard times in the mid-1980s and underwent a string of closings followed by attempts to revitalize it. The lodge long has been associated with the American Birkebeiner, which started in 1973 with 35 skiers and has grown to become the largest cross-country ski race in North America, annually attracting thousands to Northwestern Wisconsin.

"We are still extremely optimistic that Telemark can be a profitable and sustaining resort that will generate tax dollars, employment and bring a substantial guest spend not only at the resort but for local businesses," Kelly said. "We have a plan that has been verified by an independent feasibility study to be sound and obtainable. We have had tremendous support from local business owners, the community, county and the state."

TDP said it is still fully committed to the project, but the obstacles that exist must be removed to allow for a clear title in order for a resort to be built to the standard required to be successful.