Regime change at Resort at Squaw Creek

TAHOE CITY -- The Resort at Squaw Creek, North Tahoe's largest hotel, is changing hands. Kader Holdings Co. Ltd., an owner of the resort, is buying out its partner, HCV Pacific Partners, making Kader the sole owner.

This is the end of HCV-head Randy Verrue's lengthy involvement with the hotel and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

HCV Pacific Partners has offices in Hong Kong and San Francisco. Kader Holdings is a Hong Kong company owned by Kenneth Ting Woo Shou. In addition to property investment, Kader manufactures and sells toys.

The resort has been owned since 1989, two years before it opened, by Squaw Creek Associates, a limited partnership composed of HCV and Kader.

According to Kader's 2002 annual report, the company's interest in Squaw Creek Associates was valued at $9.9 million. It also had interests in Squaw Creek via an associate. Squaw Creek Associates is one of Placer County's biggest taxpayers, paying out $578,980 in 2000.

It is unclear why HCV sold its interest to Kader. Repeated phone calls to Verrue and his son, Scott, were not returned.

One reason could be the poor performance of the resort. Kader reported a loss of $5 million in the 2002 fiscal year, which it attributed to the impact of the sluggish economy on the toy and hotel industries. It was also embroiled in a costly lawsuit regarding ownership of the resort, although the report did not specify with whom. Kader reported it spent $1.4 million in legal fees "defending and protecting the Group's interest (in the Resort)." The lawsuit has since been settled.

Resort General Manager Jan McCormick says there will be no visible change in the resort.

The fate of a pet project of the Verrues, Resort at Squaw Creek Homesites, 30 homes to be built on Juniper Ridge between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, is not known.

Placer County said the development is still under review, but has not been pulled. According to Senior Planner Michael Wells, the county expects to see a second administrative draft environmental impact report on the project around Sunday.

Although the resort is listed on HCV's Web site as one of its properties, Verrue handed in his resignation to NLTRA Executive Director Steve Teshara. Since he is no longer affiliated with the 405-room resort, Verrue is not eligible to remain on the board.


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