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Marinas cite weak economy, dispute in bankruptcy case

Marinas International Consolidated LP and two related businesses say the failing economy in 2008 and 2009 and decisions by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to lower the levels of lakes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina caused financial problems that eventually led them to seek bankruptcy protection earlier this month.

The debtors also include Marinas International Consolidated II LP and Marinas International Consolidated II–Ouachita LP. Their corporate headquarters is in Dallas.

International Marina Group I LP, which does business as Marinas International, has described the businesses that sought protection June 10 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware as tenants at 11 marinas. The marinas are in New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas.

Marinas International said it manages the marinas and has not filed for bankruptcy protection. It said the debtors sought court relief in order to negotiate with their landlord, CNL Lifestyle Properties, and reorganize.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross has authorized the debtors to continue operations and agreed to a request to consolidate the cases.

In court papers, Jo Wilsmann, CFO for the debtors, said decreased demand from customers stemming from the struggling financial and real estate markets and the Corps of Engineers’ lowering of lakes to avert flooding “has resulted in a significant reduction of revenue for the marinas.”

Wilsmann said the debtors filed for protection after CNL “unreasonably refused to renegotiate the untenable lease terms that it created and the debtors found themselves defending eviction proceedings in 11 different forums in multiple states.”

An attorney for CNL said in court documents that the Chapter 11 cases were filed “simply to gain an advantage in what is essentially a two-party dispute between debtors as former tenants/current trespassers and CNL as landlord.” The leases were terminated because of “numerous defaults,” the attorney wrote in documents that were filed June 19.

The next hearing in the case is set for today.

The 11 marinas are:

Marinas International Consolidated, LP:

• Pier 121, Lewisville, Texas

• Lakefront, Port Clinton, Ohio

• Burnside, Somerset, Ky.

• Beaver Creek, Monticello, Ky.

• Sandusky, Sandusky, Ohio

• Manasquan, Ocean County, N.J.

• Crystal Point, Ocean County N.J.

Marinas International Consolidated II, LP:

• Great Lakes Marina, Muskegon, Mich.

• Holly Creek; Celina, Tenn.

• Eagle Cove; Byrdstown, Tenn.

Marinas International Consolidated II–Ouachita, LP:

• Brady Mountain, Royal, Ark.

Click here for a release from Marinas International.

Click here for a follow-up release.

— Reagan Haynes

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