Ormsby House sale could face legal battle | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ormsby House sale could face legal battle

Teya Vitu, Tribune News Service

A day after the Ormsby House sale was announced, another potential buyer cried foul claiming he already has a contract to buy the hotel-casino.

Partners at Carson City-based Cubix Corp. announced Wednesday they opened escrow to buy the resort. But Dr. Vincent Malfitano of Antioch, Calif. said Thursday he was within a week or so of closing escrow on the Ormsby House.

“There’s some wild stuff going on,” said Malfitano, a cosmetic dentist and owner of Skyline Crest Co., which was jockeying to buy the troubled casino.

Malfitano, Cubix partners Al Fiegehen and Don Lehr, and Riverside, Calif., developer Tom Day have all been named as interested in buying the Ormsby House since a June 6 auction that netted no acceptable bids.

Malfitano and the Cubix partners both say they have opened escrow with Cerberus Partners, which has owned the Ormsby House since buying it in a January 1998 foreclosure sale. Cerberus representative Kevin Genda referred calls regarding the Ormsby House to Bob Cashell, the hotel-casino’s general manager.

“I’ve had open escrow since July 26 and a contract with Cerberus since that day,” Malfitano said. “What I don’t want to do is engage in a legal battle. (But) I don’t intend to let Genda sell it from under me. Skyline Crest needs Genda to consummate the Skyline Crest deal.”

Malfitano said he made a cash offer for the 200-room hotel-casino. He declined to reveal the price. The Cubix partners also offered an undisclosed amount of cash.

Malfitano said he was willing to drop the matter if the Cubix offer was higher than his.

“If Cubix has offered more money, I congratulate them,” Malfitano said. “If Cubix offered less than Skyline Crest, then Cerberus will have legal issues to deal with.”

Malfitano planned to continue operating the Ormsby House as a hotel-casino, but he had a fallback plan to convert the top two floors, about 30 to 40 rooms, for senior independent housing to boost the cash flow if necessary.

Malfitano said he spent several hundred thousand dollars to assemble a financing deal, which was complete. He said he was only awaiting on-site inventory documentation before closing escrow.

Cashell said he was unaware of Malfitano’s status with Cerberus.

“I don’t know what he signed,” Cashell said. “He never shared any of that with me. He never asked me for an inventory. I never saw a signed copy of the contract.”

Malfitano said he had regular contact with Genda and Cashell since opening communications but that both had been mysteriously out of touch for the past week to 10 days.

“The first time I heard of the sale was at 6:15 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday),” Malfitano said. “I called Genda and he said ‘we decided to go with another buyer and we’re not using you.’ I said I had put in a lot of expense and he hung up. I made my second call at 6:15 and 20 seconds. Cashell said ‘I don’t know anything about it.'”

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