Heritage House lost; gets no bailout - Mendocino Beacon

It's more than simply ironic that just as the national economy was hitting a new bottom last week, Little River's Heritage House was having the worst days in its 60-year history. Full Story
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Linda MP

Fountain Valley, CA

#129 Mar 30, 2012
Having spent our Honeymoon there 25 years ago and several times thereafter,
I planned to surprise my husband and return for our Silver Anniversary.
WHEN did it close? I'm heartbroken - what wonderful memories we have there
as so many others. I'm sorry for the employees - they were great. Were the
journals save from SAME TIME - NEXT YEAR?
MagicJoe

Fremont, CA

#135 Jan 27, 2013
I posted a couple of comments here some years back on our memories of the Heritage House Inn. My wife and I recently went to Mendocino. The following link is to my YouTube video to show the status of HHI taken on 01/21/13 as we drove by the resort three times:
http://youtu.be/aySkZS58N20
broberts

Portland, OR

#136 Jan 27, 2013
Dear MagicJoe - thank you so much for sharing your video! I have to say between the video and the soundtrack to "Same Time Next Year" playing in the background it really made me teary! My husband and I went to Heritage House several times to celebrate our birthdays in February - and this time of year always makes me think of what wonderful memories we have of our stay there. This is SO incredibly sad that its still closed! We so miss Heritage House and Mendocino - what a beautiful place! I am hoping someone writes in and updates this link with the status of HH in 2013? Thanks again everyone!
Alex

Pinon Hills, CA

#137 Jan 27, 2013
Beautiful video, MagicJoe. Thanks for the memories.
Alex

Pinon Hills, CA

#138 Jan 27, 2013
Historic Mendocino Coastal Inn to Reopen in June
By Glenda Anderson, The Press Democrat, 5/24/12

An iconic Mendocino County resort with sweeping views of the rugged coastline will be reopening in June [2012], 4 years after it shut down amid financial and legal problems. The Heritage House has “100% new ownership,” said Bill Heaney, a hospitality consultant who is overseeing the reopening for the new owner, Heritage House LP. He refused to divulge the name of the buyer but said the resort is American owned.“I think he wants to keep his privacy for awhile,” Heaney said.

Workers are scurrying to clear brush, make repairs and spruce up the 66-unit luxury resort, which includes a main building, cottages, spa and restaurant along Highway 1 in Little River. It sits on a 37-acre parcel overlooking the ocean.“At least 20 of the cottages will be ready for occupation in June [2012],” Heaney said.

Heritage House LP purchased the resort in March for $8 million, almost $20 million less than the price sought at auction in 2008, according to County and court records. It previously was owned by German bank WESTLP AG, which foreclosed on the former property owner, Lantana Mendocino LLC. The bank lowered the auction price to $18.2 million but there were no takers at that time.

Lantana owed the bank $27 million, according to a lawsuit filed by the bank. Lantana co-owner David Wilk also owed more than $300,000 in taxes to Mendocino County. He collected bed taxes from guests but did not turn them over to the county, officials said.“Wilk was charged with misappropriation of public funds and grand theft embezzlement in 2008. The charges were dropped in 2009 after he paid the County about $210,000,” said Mendocino County Treasurer and Tax Collector Shari Schapmire.

Lantana purchased the resort from former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor in 2005 for $19.5 million. It then borrowed another $4.5 million from the bank in 2007 for an ambitious remodeling project that some say stripped the resort of its coastal character. Heaney said the new owner wants to return the resort to its former glory.“Our intention is to bring back what we would characterize as a very special place,” he said.

The resort opened in 1949 after Lauren Dennen, a Mendocino Coast native, returned home and converted the original 1877 New England-style farmhouse into a small inn. It grew over the years to include dozens of cottages. In 1978, the resort was the setting for the film “Same Time, Next Year,” starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn. Maureen O’Connor, the wealthy widow of Jack-in-the-Box founder R.O. Peterson, bought the Heritage House in 1998.

In its heyday, the resort was rated by affluent travelers as among the world’s best. In 2008, it was one of 4 upscale places in the United States and Canada to receive a Grand Award in Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, a publication for connoisseurs of world travel.“While it’s been closed for several years now, people continue to call the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce, hoping to stay there,” said Chamber director Debra De Graw.“We had a lot of disappointed people. Folks are excited it’s going to be open again,” De Graw said.
MagicJoe

Fremont, CA

#139 Jan 27, 2013
Follow-up article:
Little River's Heritage House resort still closed
By Glenda Anderson, The Press Democrat, 09/09/12

The iconic Heritage House, a Mendocino Coast resort with sweeping views of the ocean, remains closed three months after its planned reopening.

"There was a change in strategy. Now they're trying to decide whether they want to completely renovate the resort before they open," said Bill Heaney, a hospitality consultant connected with the project.

The owner or owners have remained anonymous since purchasing the bankrupt luxury resort in March for $8 million under the name Heritage House LP.

In May, Heaney said the owner planned to open a portion of the 66-unit property in June and the rest when renovations were complete.

The resort's manager could not be reached Friday for further details about the progress of the makeover.

Heritage House includes a main building, cottages, spa and restaurant along Highway 1 in Little River. It's famous for being the setting of the 1978 movie "Same Time Next Year," starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn.

Its closure has disappointed the many people who have made it a regular destination.

The resort closed four years ago amid financial and legal problems.

Lantana Mendocino LLC, the former owner, lost the resort to foreclosure. The lender, a German bank, was owed $27 million when it foreclosed, according to court records.

Lantana also owed more than $300,000 in bed taxes it collected but failed to turn over to the county. Co-owner David Wilk paid an estimated $210,000 to settle an embezzlement case filed in connection with the withheld taxes.
Caborican

Fort Bragg, CA

#140 Jan 29, 2013
Well, folks, here is my on-scene report.

It is January 2013 and the Heritage House sign still says "Closed". Some of the units appear to be getting a down-to-the-2x4s rennovation, but it does not appear that they will be ready anytime soon. It is conceivable that they could have some units ready for Spring,'13, but they are not yet recruiting staff that I have seen.

$8M was a "bargain", but I hope the new owner has plenty of capital available for the resurrection.

I pledge to walk down for Sunday Brunch at least once a month when the restaurant reopens. I'll even hang out at the bar from time to time.

Let's keep hoping.
MagicJoe

San Jose, CA

#141 May 2, 2013
News released today. Looks a little more modern. Hope the prices haven't been hiked up.

http://www.mendocinobeacon.com/localnews/ci_2...

http://heritagehouseresort.com/
Rob

La Mesa, CA

#142 May 2, 2013
My wife and I stayed at Heritage House in the Dennen era. Wanted to go back this year but after looking at their website, it appears they have ruined the "Old California" warmth and novelty of no TV or phones. Gone modern. Yuk. Probably not interested anymore.
Sad!
Yuknuff Beopfarse111xc

Sacramento, CA

#143 May 3, 2013
What about the scheduled annual Lesbian karaoke sing-out? We have tickest for each of the events and were going to stay at HH as always since the Dennons.. One year Jim Bertram, some local colour, gave a talk about centering the vanishing point in stage presentations. I think he was supposed to talk at some other thing but us girls loved the dear little elf anywaUY and his dog named Philly who talked about his cat named Ching.
brandon

Los Angeles, CA

#145 Jun 29, 2013
Yuknuff Beopfarse111xc wrote:
What about the scheduled annual Lesbian karaoke sing-out? We have tickest for each of the events and were going to stay at HH as always since the Dennons.. One year Jim Bertram, some local colour, gave a talk about centering the vanishing point in stage presentations. I think he was supposed to talk at some other thing but us girls loved the dear little elf anywaUY and his dog named Philly who talked about his cat named Ching.
wtf? lesbian karaoke, centering the vanishing point, dear little elf, philly the dog, and a cat named ching...is there some kind of coded message hidden in this post or does someone need to back away from the bar? lol...i tell you, the thought of having to attend a "lesbian karaoke sing-out" sends a shiver right through me.
brandon

Los Angeles, CA

#146 Jun 29, 2013
i was sooooo excited to see that the place reopened...that is until i clicked on the link and opened the website. how absolutely disappointing that the new owner, who everyone thought was a knight in shining armor for saving it, just basically finished what wilke started with the complete bastardization of the place. i am so bummed, i have wanted to stay in one of the same time next year cabins since i was a child and only discovered the place really existed a few months before it went into foreclosure or whatever. then was so bummed to know it was falling into disrepair, but thrilled when i saw it was reopening...and now i have zero desire to even step on the property. WHY DID THEY HIRE THE WRONG DESIGN FIRM? if i want monochromatic, generic, modern accomodations, there are plenty of places to stay. WHY WOULD THEY REMOVE EVERYTHING THAT WAS CHARMING AND SPECIAL ABOUT THE PLACE? THAT GUEST ROOM AND DINING ROOM COULD BE ANYWHERE...SO BORING. i think i would have rather the place have been left to be overgrown and abandoned

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