Nakoma sold to Feather River Inn developer

Diana Jorgenson
Portola Editor

     After nearly six years of upheaval and bankruptcy court, the Nakoma Resort and Golf Course at Gold Mountain has been sold to the Schomac Group, Inc., developers out of Tucson, Ariz., who are also current owners of the Feather River Inn, 10 miles away at the other end of Mohawk Valley.

    Principal Michael Schoff sees the two properties as “sister resorts, providing a superb mix of lodging, convention facilities and recreational amenities” and hopes to see both golf courses — the nine-hole course at Feather River Inn and the 18-hole course at Gold Mountain — open at the beginning of June. 


  Court documents prefacing the April 7 hearing date detailed a selling price of $900,000 and the assumption of approximately $893,000 in real and personal property taxes to Plumas County.

    In reality, the sale entailed much more than Nakoma and the golf course. All told, Schoff said, it was a $4 million package that eventually included all the unsold lots — improved and unimproved, residential and commercial — at Gold Mountain, as well as a 9-hole golf course.

    Gathering all the pieces of the fragmented Gold Mountain venture required negotiations with three other entities and was a long and complicated process as Schoff described it. It was important to Schomac that when the sale was completed, it could work only with the homeowners association at Gold Mountain and the community services district, rather than a lot of interested parties with separate issues.

    Nakoma, with its unique 23,000 square-foot lodge designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has attracted several potential buyers during its stint in bankruptcy court, but has been plagued with problems.

    Parts of the golf course had not been surveyed, easements had not been obtained in some cases, wells that were supposed to be included were not and, of course, vacant buildings and untended land deteriorate and incur damage.

    As problem after problem surfaced, potential buyers fell by the wayside. It fell to Gold Mountain property owners to care for the golf course and keep it green, in an effort to hold their own property values steady and in hopes of enticing a buyer.

    Gold Mountain homeowners also set up a developer liaison committee, chaired by Jack Carlson, to facilitate a potential sale and to work with developers interested in the property.

    Without their efforts, Schoff acknowledged, Schomac could not possibly hope to have the course open this summer.

    It fell to the courts to disentangle the legal messes and encumbrances, with the help of trustee lawyers Belding, Harris, and Petroni, who tallied up a tab of $216,959.28, but settled for $160,000 to keep the sale moving, thus earning the appreciation of presiding Judge Zive of the federal bankruptcy court.

    The sale is conditioned upon approval from a “requisite percentage” of the 59 investors of Gold Mountain, who are not likely to see much of a return on their investments.

    Plumas County, on the other hand, stands to see a sizable windfall after negotiations are completed.

    Schomac plans to begin work immediately to make improvements to the Nakoma clubhouse, golf course and spa villas. For the time being, the clubhouse will only have a grill to serve golfers; Schoff plans to re-open the restaurant when the economy indicates a return to better times.

    There are already golf experts at the Nakoma, sizing up the task and readying the greens. The challenging course originally was named the Dragon, but plans are to lose the name and some of its more daunting aspects. These changes in the course will not occur until next year.

    Roy Tremoureux, the new general manager for Nakoma, said, “It will be a great day in the sun when homeowners, tourists and the residents of the area can enjoy a new and milder course.”

    Dan and Leah West are acting in an advisory capacity at the Nakoma golf course and have contracted with Schomac to manage the Feather River Inn golf course this summer.

    Schomac is enthusiastic about its new venture. David Beveridge, vice president, said, “My charge will be to bring Gold Mountain and the Nakoma Golf Resort back to where it can once again shine as a beacon in Plumas County.”

    Schomac pointed out “Nakoma” is a Chippewa word meaning, “I do as I promise.” Perhaps now, Nakoma at Gold Mountain canfulfill its promise.

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