PORT BLANDFORD, N.L. — The future of the Terra Nova Golf Resort in Port Blandford is in doubt after the hotel and golf course went into receivership.
BDO is the receiver for the resort, which will go through the receivership process in its offseason over the next several months.
Phil Clarke of BDO Canada told The Packet this means since debts are in default, lenders need to go into receivership for secured creditors to remedy the situation.
He says the easiest analogy to understand the situation is if you don’t pay your mortgage and the bank forecloses.
As for the future of Terra Nova Golf Resort, owned by Rex Anthony, Clarke says BDO take control of the assets subject to the Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) security, and develop a sales process.
This includes the listing of assets in a tendering process.
"Usually in these scenarios, someone who buys these assets to operate pays more money than somebody who is looking to liquidate the assets, so the intent is always to find a new operator."
— Phil Clarke, BDO Canada.
He adds that’s it’s still very early in this process and no decisions have been made on timelines—but, in general, three to five months is an estimated time frame for this process.
“The important thing is doing it right. The objective would be to run a good, open, transparent process, but also sell it in time for a prospective purchaser to open in time for next year’s tourist season,” Clarke said. “I would consider that a good outcome.”
Potential tourism impact
Port Blandford Mayor Chad Holloway told The Packet this news is disappointing for the community. He says the first thing he thought was about the approximately 60 workers directly employed by the resort.
“On top of that, the community is a tourism hub, being a gateway to the Bonavista Peninsula and Terra Nova National Park,” said Holloway. “So, there is over a hundred jobs in the community directly linked to tourism. It’s going to have a significant impact on not only the people at the resort but the community as a whole.
“A long-term closure would certainly have a significant impact.”
— Chad Holloway, Port Blanford mayor.
However, with that being said, Holloway says they are trying to remain optimistic. He says this isn’t the first time the ownership of Terra Nova Resort has changed—adding that the 80-room hotel and two premier golf courses are a real asset for a potential buyer.
Mayor Holloway contacted Terra Nova MHA Colin Holloway last week after learning of the closure, and discussed possible provincial government programs they could avail of going forward, like community enhancement, employment programs or skills development training.
The employees have just been laid off for the season, as they normally would each year, and Holloway hopes there’s a scenario which sees the resort open again on time for the next season.
“Had this announcement come in April or May, I’d be a lot more worried,” he said. “The fact that this has happened in November month, that’s where the optimism lies.”