Yellowstone Club World
Spending as much as $40 million each on some of their residences, Yellowstone Club World would enter the destination club industry as one of the most exclusive, and expensive, clubs in history.
Crafted by Tim Blixseth, the founder of the Yellowstone Club, a Montana ski and golf community, Yellowstone Club World's property acquistions was compared to an "Easter egg hunt." Requiring a "wow factor" when purchasing properties, Blixseth turned down a castle in the British Channel Islands because it "turned out to be a dump" and land in Cabo San Lucas because it was "getting too Newport Beach."
The properties that Blixseth and the club did settle on were some of the most extravagant residences in the history of the sector, including:
- St. Andrews
- French Castle Château de Farcheville
- Mexico Resort El Tamarindo
- Private Caribbean Island
- Fly Fishing Lake in Cody, Wyoming
To obtain these properties, some of which were in excess of $40 million, Blixseth obtained a loan from Credit Suisse for $375 million, using they Yellowstone Club as collateral.
Shortly thereafter, a divorce of Tim and Edra Blixseth would complicate the growth of the invitation only destination club and Yellowstone Club World would cease their sales and marketing efforts in 2007. In 2008, the club would cease operations.
As part of the divorce, the international properties were split with Edra receiving the golf resort in Scotland and the French castle. Tim would take the Mexican estate and the private Caribbean island.
Unsure of how the Yellowstone Club World properties were being handled and who owned the club's assets, four creditors would force the club into an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in early 2009.
"We're concerned the assets they do have are no longer in control of the Yellowstone Club World," said John Amsden, a lawyer representing the four creditors, three of which were seeking $1.5 million each for membership deposits paid to join the club. "The involuntary bankruptcy was necessary because it appears that there is no one minding the club's business. We hope that the matter can be resolved with a minimum of expense."
"The members of the Yellowstone Club World were promised access to very specific and significant properties in return for their significant membership dues. They anticipate that their interests to those properties will be respected," Amsden would also state.
Averaging nearly $35 million each, the property collection of Yellowstone Club World dwarfed that of The Solstice Collection, the leader in the destination club industry's ultra-luxury category.