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
Steve from Tulsa OK

Tulsa, OK

#25 Jul 4, 2009
I first visited HH in the early '80's and returned probably a half dozen times. Every time staying longer than before (last visit was 2004). I learned of the demise of HH when I planned on vacationing there this summer. When I first saw "Same Time Next Year", I waited for all the credits to roll to find out where this wonderful place was. The incredible fireplace in the tea room, the bar, the crashing waves, the gazebo (a framed picture still hangs in my office), the feel of the place, the weather, the rooms - it goes on and on. My wife DVR'ed "Same Time Next Year" this morning, so I thought I would see if anyone had purchased the property - this is incredibly sad. Thanks to all of you who worked there. Thanks to the Drennan's. Thanks to Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn and "Same Time Next Year". Memories I will always have.
P and B

Sparks, NV

#26 Jul 5, 2009
My former wife and myself honeymooned in cabin 5, year 2000 we returned, like so many others, in year 2005. We both enjoyed the moments of silence and the solitude that was accompanied by the distance waves and roaring sea. She slipped away from me when the doctor told me that the best act of love is letting go. That might be true for some things, but it should show no attention to man's creation. I read all the sadness and remorse, but believe me I also know that responsibility and respect also fits this part of history we share, too. I will be visiting the north coast next week and will drive by the beautiful gardens and plush green grass as if it were yesterday. I will some day invite a guest to share moments of memory that will be once again lasting and fond to each person to choose.
rkh

Mill Valley, CA

#27 Jul 20, 2009
i had NO idea this place closed....i stayed at the cabins,( "same time next year" ), there and LOVED the place....what a fabulously wonderful place to go for a get-a-way and how incredbily criminal it is to find it doesnt even exist anymore.....i too am speechless......what a creton this "WILK" must be....disgusting and sad..
Peggy

Berkeley, CA

#28 Jul 26, 2009
Jim wrote:
What as shame that GREED leads to this. Realtors are just as much to blame as everyone else especially the broker who won't idenify him/herself
We locals are all saddened by the closure of this special landmark Inn where many of us congregated and made reservations for family and friends. If a broker/realtor was involved this last time around, it was no one local. The demise had a lot to do with bad timing economically and people who we here locally did not think had an understanding of what Heritage House meant to its loyal following. All they had to change was........nothing.
KatD

Lodi, CA

#29 Aug 2, 2009
I am devasted to read this, as I have love it for years! I've sold it to clients and was just considering another trip up there with a friend! How absolutely horrible! I hope it can somehow be saved and those that ruined the wonderful operation that had been built will be severely punished! I am sorry for all who lost money-the employees and guests :(
FormerGuest

San Francisco, CA

#30 Aug 3, 2009
P Crawford Lancaster TX wrote:
OMG...I am sitting here reading with tears in my eyes the trail of comments and had no idea that HH is no longer. My husband and I were married there Oct. 7, 2005 by Bryan Fairlee at the little white gazebo near the cliff and we spent part of our honeymoon there at HH. I'm speechless...
My husband and I were married on that same spot, also by Mr. Fairlee, on October 12, 2005. It was absolutely perfect, in every respect, and I am so incredibly saddened to know that I can never go back and relive that exquisite time.
BRobertson

Portland, OR

#31 Aug 8, 2009
My husband and I just now read the article from 12/08 re the closure and foreclosure of Heritage House. We spent our honeymoon in Mendocino and always promised ourselves one day we would go back and stay at Heritage House. We equally loved "Same Time Year" one of our favorite movies! It took us 25 years to keep this promise and we spent our 25th anniversary there in Feb 2007. We loved it so much we went back the next year. We are not wealthy people - but what we found at Heritage House was worth saving for each time! It was just as lovely the next year - but we did find it strange that buildings from the previous year were still not finished. We also met David Wilk who made a pt of visiting each table at dinner to introduce himself and make small talk. We found him extremely egocentic and full of himself.

We are both distraught this magical place is closed. And we are hoping that somehow someone will repurchase it, save it and continue its beautiful history by the people who build it and loved it.

We will stay tuned for any updates and remain hopeful the residents of Mendocino and past guests will find a way to fight to reopen this beautiful, historic and romantic hotel.

Barbara and Ray Robertson
BRobertson

Portland, OR

#32 Aug 8, 2009
Update to our posting - We're California natives residing in Portland, OR. Not Toronto Canada as listed!
Nancy

United States

#33 Aug 22, 2009
I loved the movie "Same Time Next Year", and in August 2000 was driving Route 1 from San Francisco to Trinidad when I passed the Heritage House. Without even seeing a sign, I knew instantly that it was the inn from the movie, and I made a U-turn (on Route 1!) and drove onto the grounds. My friend and I were thrilled to be warmly greeted and shown movie souvenirs and photos, even though we were not staying there.

We walked all over the gardens and out onto the penisula, and I hoped some day to stay there. How sad to read that it has closed. Maybe a hotelier with money and brains will reopen it, cancel the inappropriate renovations, and give California lovers back this beautiful place.
Mike

Sunnyvale, CA

#34 Aug 23, 2009
Hey Nancy

I heard the place was locked up with a police car parked out front. Are they open again? Giving tours? Oh boy would this be good news...
MagicJoe

San Jose, CA

#35 Aug 24, 2009
If you all go to www.youtube.com and do a search on "Heritage House Inn," there are quite a few video clips posted in January 2009, where people were escorted throughout the property by security. By their candid comments, it sounded like it was their first time there, plus they even make a brief stop outside the "Same Time" and "Next Year" units.
NGL

High Point, NC

#36 Sep 12, 2009
First of all, I think that people writing on this wall need to get their facts straight and check their accusations before they post them. Not only was David Wilk falsely accused of lots of things that he had no control under, but all he wanted to do for this property was make it a better place. So before you go ahead accusing him of "being a snake" and saying you want "five minutes alone with him." get your facts straight.

Do you know what happened behind closed doors? No you dont. "David's living a protected life back east." FALSE. Get your facts STRAIGHT.

Do you think the original plans from Mr. Wilk was to have it close down? Have everyone lose their jobs? Why would he want that if he originally took over? No, he didn't. This SURE as heck isn't easy for him too... People are unbelievable. Sit back and judge what's going on his life, and not realize the reality.
NGL

High Point, NC

#37 Sep 12, 2009
Also, for those saying Wilk was egocentric and full of himself, do you know him? Because I suggest you don't pass judgement unless you do.
onepene

Chicopee, MA

#38 Sep 12, 2009
NGL wrote:
First of all, I think that people writing on this wall need to get their facts straight and check their accusations before they post them. Not only was David Wilk falsely accused of lots of things that he had no control under, but all he wanted to do for this property was make it a better place. So before you go ahead accusing him of "being a snake" and saying you want "five minutes alone with him." get your facts straight.
Do you know what happened behind closed doors? No you dont. "David's living a protected life back east." FALSE. Get your facts STRAIGHT.
Do you think the original plans from Mr. Wilk was to have it close down? Have everyone lose their jobs? Why would he want that if he originally took over? No, he didn't. This SURE as heck isn't easy for him too... People are unbelievable. Sit back and judge what's going on his life, and not realize the reality.
Sometimes an investment is made for status rather than having your heart into a venture.
Though he may not and probably did not mean to have this historic location go into financial ruin, the investment was not heartfelt.
An investment for reasons of status or stature is often times destined to fail.
Those who would have a vested interest in an area, town or location would be more likely to work their fingers to the bone in order to remain open, keep the original structure in tact and attempt to exhaust all avenues before they are forced to close.
No, I don't know him. But similar situations have happened across this entire country. No personal investment to the area can often lead to disaster.
NGL

High Point, NC

#39 Sep 12, 2009
Not only was it not made for status, but he truly cared about the property and everyone working there and wanted to make the place even more wonderful than it already is. Long term plans of having this for the rest of his life were his original intentions.

I completely understand that it's a terrible tragedy that the HH was forced to close, but nobody anticipated this happening! As I said, the original intentions were not to close it down in anyway, but to make it prosper.

Unfortunately, with the economy and some horrible, horrendous people, the HH did have to close. But, David Wilk is getting all the blame for it when it's anything but.

It's terrible that the HH did close, but it will all work it out in good time. As you said, similiar situations have happened across the country - do you think any of these people meant for it to happen in the way that it did, as well? No, they didnt. It was a chance (well more) but super bad luck, and just not a good thing that happens. Business can be extremely risky, and unfortunately, this one did not turn out for the better.

Also, you have no idea why the investment was made. It was not for status, but for a plan of making the HH a better place then it already was, and continuing a business career that has already flourished.

The situation is extremely terrible that happened, and I'm sure all are very upset about it, but David Wilk does not deserve all the blame, all he did was good for the HH.

I met him while I was staying there, and he seemed to have all amazing intentions and a great business plan in his mind.
NGL

High Point, NC

#40 Sep 12, 2009
Also, Frustrated by the system - that's the biggest BS I've ever heard in my life. A protected life??!! It was not even his fault what happened, he got screwed over by people that he asked to do a job for him.

"If you want the job done right, do it yourself." He is going to get away without any penalty ... yeah, RIGHT. How about all of the things that were a result of the HH closing? How do you think he feels? Don't say anything until you know the straight facts.
MDR

Dallas, TX

#41 Sep 14, 2009
NGL you seem to claim to know a lot for someone who only met him during a stay at the property. Your posts seem a little over the top and fishy to me. Are our sure you are not David?
MDR

Dallas, TX

#42 Sep 14, 2009
NGL you seem to claim to know a lot for someone who only met him during a stay at the property. Your posts seem a little over the top and fishy to me. Are you sure you are not David?
NGL

United States

#43 Sep 14, 2009
Why are these posts fishy? No, I'm not David. He doesn't need to defend himself online anyway. I'm just a close friend that thinks you all need to get your facts straight.
Mendo Local

Phoenix, AZ

#44 Sep 15, 2009
NGL wrote:
First of all, I think that people writing on this wall need to get their facts straight and check their accusations before they post them. Not only was David Wilk falsely accused of lots of things that he had no control under, but all he wanted to do for this property was make it a better place. So before you go ahead accusing him of "being a snake" and saying you want "five minutes alone with him." get your facts straight.
Do you know what happened behind closed doors? No you dont. "David's living a protected life back east." FALSE. Get your facts STRAIGHT.
Do you think the original plans from Mr. Wilk was to have it close down? Have everyone lose their jobs? Why would he want that if he originally took over? No, he didn't. This SURE as heck isn't easy for him too... People are unbelievable. Sit back and judge what's going on his life, and not realize the reality.
NGL, you might needs to get your facts in order as well.
Talk to Nancy, Exec Chef, in for over $40,000
Talk to Sam, Chief Engineer-$10,000
Talk to Joe, Engineer-$9,000
Talk to Tony, Contractor-$17,000
Talk to Santana, Housekeeping Director-$7,000
Talk to Amy, Project Manager-$15,000
Talk to Some local inventors, in for over $1,000,000...and many more

All of the employees/investors bought in to David's repeat promises of future funding for the property that never came. Shame on them for investing their own time and money, but they did so because they truly love the property, tried to keep it running, and they believed David. Maybe David truly believed what he was saying as well, and maybe his orginal intentions were genuine, but once he got in trouble, his true instincts and colors kicked in.

Also, hard to believe that someone truly cared for the welfare of his team when he would show up at the property in a rented Jaguar during a time that the property was struggling to pay its bills.

No matter what, it looks bad.
Everyone wants to see the property recover, but David is no longer welcome here in Mendocino.

NGL, "Friend of David Wilk", please make sure he at least understands that.

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