Major players in the Maui Sands Resort foreclosure case appeared for a hearing Wednesday in Erie County Common Pleas Court.
The owner of the financially troubled water park, Scott Emerson, made an appearance but did not bring his lawyers with him. Emerson's attempt to open and run the waterpark landed him in legal hot water, and the park is drowning in a sea of red ink.
Emerson said Wednesday that he owes Charter Bank between $17.4 million and $19 million, Erie County Magistrate Steve Bechtel said. Emerson also owes many contractors who worked on the waterpark, including Advantage Renovations.
Erie County Common Pleas Judge Roger Binette signed two court orders Wednesday, Bechtel said. The first made Thomas E. Pratt of BBP Partners the receiver for Maui Sands, and the second allowed Pratt to retain Nancy Valentine and the firm of Hahn, Loeser & Parks to represent Pratt.
As receiver, Pratt will protect, preserve and maintain the foreclosed property, which closed to the public Nov. 27.
Pratt said "that he's about 80 to 90 percent done with Phase I, which is to protect and preserve the property, and that he estimated that he thought that job could be done by the end of the month," Bechtel said.
Bechtel anticipates Charter One and Pratt will soon file a motion expanding Pratt's powers. That would allow Pratt to do a business analysis of the property, which could help bring in potential buyers for the waterpark.
Emerson and Advantage Renovations were given a March 20 deadline to try to work out a deal in their dispute, Bechtel said.
"There's $25 million of secured interest that banks, financiers, etc., have in ... the property that in terms of priority would be (paid) before and ahead of the contractors," Bechtel said.