Tuesday, July 21, 2009

lmao But Not Concerning Ponte Vista

This post is not about Ponte Vista, but allows readers to find humor in matters regarding a development other than Ponte Vista.
Terranea Resort recently opened its doors an an upscale resort at Long Point, the former site of Marineland of the Pacific.
Mr. Lowe, Terranea's developer and the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, its residents and others have been dealing with the project for the past 12 years.
Just before the resort was scheduled to open, Mr. Lowe confronted the R.P.V. City Council with the veiled threat that if he didn't get a rebate on the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), he would not open the resort on the scheduled opening date.
Mr. Lowe first asked for up to 35 Million Dollars from the city before he agreed to take the 8.3 Million Dollar TOT rebate scheduled to be paid back to the city, with interest somewhere in the 2012-2015 time frame.
Mr. Lowe stated that unless he got assurances that the TOT rebate was approved, he could use that to secure between 8-12 Million Dollars in new loans.
Just about everyone Mr. Lowe went to for a loan to open the resort and keep it open during the initial months of operation demanded that the city of R.P.V. provide the TOT rebate.
However, the ordinance granting the TOT rebate was written to mandate that Terranea would not be provided the TOT rebate until a $12.5 Million Dollar loan extension was handed to Mr. Lowe by the developer's primary financial backer, Corus Bankshares.
One of the provisions for granting the TOT rebate was the stipulation that residents of R.P.V. would be offered a 25% discount on the first night of a multi-night stay at the resort and some discounts for goods and services other than alcohol.
The language of the ordinance stated that residents who wished to utilize discounts to R.P.V. residents would first need to pay a $25.00 registration fee to get discounts.
When that particular language was read in the light of day, it was stricken while laughter floated all around the peninsula.
The resort is now open and many residents of R.P.V. are wondering about where the discounts are and when will they be given.
The Director of Finances for the city or R.P.V. gave a report at Tuesday's City Council meeting regarding discounts.
Please remember that the primary loan guarantor is Corus Bank. There may be a test farther down on this post.
Here is basically what he reported out.
Discounts to R.P.V. residents will not be provided until the TOT rebate provisions are secured from the city which will only provide them after Terranea receives promised funds of 12.5 Million Dollars from a financial institution that is about to be taken over by the FDIC.
At the City Council meeting preceding this Tuesday meeting was the last vote to approve the TOT rebate and place it into city statutes.
I was the only speaker to address the Council members prior to their final vote on the matter and I warned the three members allowed to vote on the matter that they had better be absolutely sure they knew what they were getting into and that they needed to be comfortable with the vote they were about to take.
With my speaking, it allowed for all three voting members the opportunity to again defend their vote in front of the public and on television. I gave them the opportunity to attempt to defend their position. All three voting members then voted to approve the measure.
Please remember that the final vote was taken just two weeks ago and that currently all TOT is expected to be provided to the city of R.P.V. as long as the resort stays open and they get the necessary funding to trigger the rebate to be started.
In order for Mr. Lowe to get the extra 8-10 Million Dollar loan, he had to show lenders that the TOT rebate was approved.
The TOT rebate can only be triggered AFTER the 12.5 Million Dollar loan promised to Mr. Lowe by Corus has been provided.
Corus has been on shaky standing for some time and is just about to get taken over by the FDIC because no new buyer can be found for the assets and liabilities that Corus deals with now.
My suggestion is that if you want to see a high-end resort that appears new and wonderful, go there SOON.
If it stays open beyond February, 2009 I will be amazed. 
Any and all consideration that the TOT rebate will ever get paid back is now generally thought of as folly.
There have been many reviews of the resort on a variety of sites and you are encouraged to view those reviews and decide for yourself whether you want to spend money there. 
We all should make a pilgrimage to the site if only to remember Marineland or just tour the grand resort.
I won't purchase anything there until I get the R.P.V. residents' discount. That can't happen until the TOT rebate goes into effect after Corus delivers the promised 12.5 Million Dollars to the developer. Can an out of business bank provide those funds to Terranea if Corus is taken over by the FDIC?
Perhaps The Donald can swoop in and scoop up the resort and have Trump National Golf Course very close to a resort he may be able to get for not so much money and we will end up having two sites with The Donald's imprint on the peninsula.
Between the two sites is a short street named Cherry Hill Lane. When the asphalt for that street was originally laid down, it was north of Palos Verdes Drive South.
Today, Cherry Hill Lane is south of Palos Verdes Drive South and asphalt has been gone for a great number of years from that lane.
There is still one house on Cherry Hill Lane. As the street moved, both the lane and the house crossed over the path of Palos Verdes Drive South and everything continues to move towards the Pacific Ocean.
As a matter of trivia, Trump National and Terranea have between their sites, the fastest moving asphalt roadbed in the Western Hemisphere. 
So please visit and spend money at Terranea. We have no idea how long it will stay open and by traveling through the Portuguese Bend slide area, you are provided with an experience that constantly changes and is singular to this side of the planet.


Jim said...

Just the thought of donald trump taking over the Terranea Resort sickens me to no end. His arrogance is a little too much for me, he seems like the kind of guy Bob Bisno would look up to. Having that egomaniac running one operation in RPV is one too many.

M Richards said...

Thanks much, Jim.

I certainly agree with just about everything you wrote, but I am sad that "The Donald's" arrogance is just 'a little too much' for you.

I am not well beyond the point where I feel The Donald should not get any approval for anything, ever the extension of the permit for the driving range until he submits the funding he is obligated to provide.

I usually don't call his place by its normally know name.

I think of it as Ronald Frump's Ocean Fails Golf Course and Overpriced Restaurant.

But The Donald could probably mismanage "Failingnea" better than Mr. Lowe can.

I am still hopeful at a time when hopelessness swoops down on Long Point as the bank fails and just about all hope for any TOT rebate to actually get going and then eventually get paid to R.P.V. is gone.

I think the C.C. members and certainly the city's Finance Director know this but are not willing to let the rest of us know their true opinions.

I asked the Finance Director directly if Mr. Lowe had received the 12.5 Million Dollars that would trigger the provisions of the TOT Rebate and he would not even answer that one question.

I thought he worked for me and the rest of the residents of R.P.V., as an employee of the city.

He knows the factual answer to my one question and he should factually answer either yes or no to my question, as an employee paid using taxes provided by residents and businesses.

I didn't ask his opinion and I don't need to know other information. Just either "Yes" or "No" to:

Has Mr. Lowe, Lowe Enterprises, or anyone associated with Terranea received the funds from the financial institution promising to provide them, in order to trigger the TOT rebate provisions from the city of Rancho Palos Verdes?