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More questions than answers about company offering to buy Tamarack

Few details were revealed and no questions allowed when a newly formed Eagle company announced an offer to buy Tamarack Resort.

Green Valley Holdings co-founder Matthew Hutcheson presided over a tightly controlled press conference Nov. 22, where he revealed a $40 million cash offer for Tamarack Resort’s assets. The ski and golf resort is entangled in U.S. Bankruptcy Court with a group of lenders led by Credit Suisse over Tamarack’s 2008 default on a $300 million construction loan.

This is the second proposal made public by possible buyers in four months. Salt Lake City-based Pelorus Group made a $42 million offer in August.

Hutcheson, a professional fiduciary, said Green Valley Holdings was co-founded by Larry, Scott and Rod Givens of Givens Construction of Eagle, and was created with the intent to purchase Tamarack. Hutcheson acknowledged none of the principals has resort management experience, but he said a team of experts would oversee the resort if the offer is accepted. A March 15, 2011, close date has been set.

A two-page press release held few details about the investment group. A web search of Matthew Hutcheson indicates he is a professional, independent fiduciary to retirement plans and 401(k)s, based in a Boise suburb. One website, beta.erisa-fiduciary.com, lists Hutcheson as Matthew Hutcheson LLC and provides links to multiple agencies and organizations he is affiliated with, including brightscope.com and fiduciaryethos.com, but the site provides no information about his formal education or background. That same site indicated he testified before Congress on July 20, 2010, about financial retirement plan reform.

Another site, 401khelpcenter.com, says Hutcheson has advised major U.S. corporations and not-for-profit pension plan sponsors, and appeared before the House of Representatives on March 6, 2010, to provide input and insight into fees charged to 401(k) plans.

Brad Hoaglun, spokesman for Sen. Jim Risch, said the senator hasn’t met or had any dealings with Hutcheson in the past.

Hutcheson’s relationship to GVH partner, Givens Construction, is also unclear. Phone messages weren’t returned Monday.

Tamarack Municipal Association Chairman Doug Dvorak reacted to announcement, and said, “We want a good, competent buyer who is honest, has expertise and proven funds, and not going to flip it.”

Dvorak didn’t comment specifically about terms of the offer, GVH, or Hutcheson.

He said the TMA is waiting for Federal Bankruptcy Judge Terry Myers to grant final approval of 2010 ski season, which could happen as early as Nov. 26.

“A decision could come as early as the end of the week or the first part of next week,” he said.

The Tamarack Municipal Association confirmed Nov.19 that more than $400,000 in payments to the Idaho School Endowment had been made by the TMA and Credit Suisse. The payments meet settlement obligations of a mountain land lease approved Nov. 16 by the Idaho Land Board.

The payments confirm Idaho’s and Credit Suisse’s participation as advocates to win approval in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for a ski season at Tamarack Resort, scheduled to begin Dec. 20.

About Jennifer Gonzalez

Jennifer Gonzalez covers construction, real estate and development news. Contact her at [email protected] or 208.639.3515.

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