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March 2, 2012
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Truckee-area land conservation groups submit bid for defaulted Royal Gorge property

TRUCKEE, Calif. — It's a big day on Donner Summit — and not just because of all the fresh snow.Today is the “Call for Offers Date” for the 3,000-acre Royal Gorge property, according to a Friday morning press release from Sierra Watch Executive Director Tim Mooers. Bids are due by 5 p.m., and Sierra Watch's partners at Truckee Donner Land Trust and Trust for Public Land are submitting an offer, according to the press release.“This is our top priority,” said Perry Norris, of Truckee Donner Land Trust, in a statement. “And we're confident ours will be the best offer — for the property owners and, also, for all of us who care about the future of Royal Gorge and Donner Summit.”If the bid is accepted, Mooers said success will depend on the organizations' ability to secure donations to meet the purchase price.“It's the next step in our ongoing campaign to turn the threat of development on Donner Summit into one of the great conservation opportunities in the entire Sierra Nevada,” Mooers said in the press release. “It'll be a great opportunity for us to invest in the future of Donner Summit.”The Royal Gorge property is listed at $24 million, according to previous reports.It was previously owned by Kirk Syme, owner of Woodstock Development headquarted in the San Francisco Bay Area, who brought the property in 2005 for about $35 million.The property, which is situated predominantly in Placer County but encroaches into Nevada County, was set to house a 950-unit subdivision.Syme borrowed about $17 million of the purchase price and subsequently defaulted on the loan, which is currently held by Armed Forces Bank, in June of 2011.Armed Forces Bank appointed a receivership — Douglas Wilson Companies of San Diego — in September of last year.Douglas Wilson's main responsibility is to continue to operate the ski resort and the Rainbow Lodge as to preserve the asset, said Alan Scott in a previous Sierra Sun story.Read much more about the property and its recent default history here:;parentprofile=search

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 2, 2012 02:47PM Published Mar 2, 2012 02:44PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.