The Yellowstone Club Goes Chapter 11
The saga of the Yellowstone Club has come to a sad place, the land of Chapter 11. The club in Montana's Gallatin Mountains first opened in 1999 as an ultra-elite enclave for the rich and powerful. Bill Gates, Dan Quayle and Jack Kemp were among the members as well as a whole host of titans of industry. The Club featured private homes, a ski hill, golf course and an elaborate club house. The property was also supposed to be host to what would have been the U.S.'s most expensive house at the time, a $155 million deluxe vacation retreat which was never built.
But things started to go sour when the Club's billionaire founders, Tim and Edra Blixseth divorced. At first it was an amicable and miraculously lawyer-free split. But things turned sour and the pair worked through a messy divorce that ended with Edra Blixseth as the club's majority owner and chief executive. This summer saw the end of a lawsuit between bicycle racing champ Greg LeMond and the battling Blixseths resulting in a $39.5 million settlement.
A couple of months ago the club announced an expansion plan with the Discovery Land Company that would have brought 450 more houses and condos, a luxury spa, golf clubhouse, baseball field and more ski runs to the 13,400-acre development. Those plans are now on hold. The club has said it has been unable to reach agreements with its creditors and bondholders but plans to regroup and continue onward with business as usual, opening for ski season with the usual 600 or so employees.