Well, I don't have a lot to add to this thread. At this point everything is a lot of question marks. Even a foreclosure is not a sure thing. I'd say it's almost a certainty we'll open this winter, so that's positive. Personally, I feel a lot more comfortable than I did a year ago at this time.
With regards to development strategies, I don't think that's where the core problem was. The development strategy was fairly sound and actually was paced fairly slow. There's not all that many properties and they were built over several years (Diamond Hitch began construction in 1995.) Where things got difficult was the non-revenue generating things needed to make things run - better roads, administration buildings, etc. Again, I don't think any of that development was much of a cause for concern. Had this been a normal real estate market, or even a slow real estate market, that kind of development would have just been absorbed as the cost of doing business. Instead, we've seen real estate nationwide fall off a cliff and unprecedented levels of crisis. (Heck, I'd even say we had even anticipated that pretty good by the end of 2007.)
Originally Posted by Rio
Their Madison Valley development would have parsed pristine ranch land into 'gentlemen estates' that have proven to have huge impacts on animal migrations and end up lessening the local economy as the ranch economy disappears.
By "Madison Valley development" I'm going to assume you mean the Reserve Ranch properties. Those are 160 acre lots encompassing the western third of the resort. There's 21 of them. They were also set up from the beginning to fall under Montana's open space conservation easements, so that means all future development is severely restricted. The actual home building sites are designated in advance and are very small areas typically about 3 acres in size. All of the roads and access were designed with migration routes in mind. So, rather than "huge impact", I would say it's pretty minimal. In addition, the types of owners that will eventually own properties like this won't be full-time, year-round residents. They'll come out in the winter and they'll come out in the summer. During the spring and fall they won't be around at all and that'll make the elk happy.
The rest of the master plan takes into account a wildlife corridor a few miles wide. Development is clustered outside of that.