New owner secured for historic Pretty Estates

Property is home to Rowena’s Inn on the River, Sandpiper Golf Course and River’s Edge Restaurant

  • Apr. 14, 2016 8:00 p.m.

Last week Betty Anne Faulkner, former owner and president of Pretty Estates announced the sale of her company, Pretty Estates Ltd. to Canadian Aurora Investment Ltd.

The property is home to Rowena’s Inn on the River, Sandpiper Golf Course and River’s Edge Restaurant at Harrison Mills in the upper Fraser Valley.

On Nov. 10, 2014, Pretty Estates filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to allow it to develop a restructuring plan for its creditors to overcome the negative effects of the prolonged recession since 2008 and the malaise that had hit many golf resorts worldwide.

The monitor appointed by the court, G. Powroznik Group Inc. of G-Force Group, worked with Pretty Estates’ counsel, Lawson Lundell LLP and Inntegrated Hospitality Management Ltd. (IHM) to help Pretty Estates develop and implement its restructuring plan.

The restructuring plan was approved by the creditors and court in March 2016.

The proceeds from the sale allow the creditors to be paid in accordance with the plan this month.

“The sale of Pretty Estates culminates a long and successful process that brought the resort back to good financial health, preserved and improved the wonderful experiences for our customers and staff, and provided a solid foundation for the purchaser to bring its vision to take the resort to a new level,” said Mrs. Faulkner.

“The successful restructuring of Pretty Estates is, in my experience, one of the best examples of how an owner, management and employees can embrace and implement the advice of experienced, professional restructuring advisors for the benefit of all creditors and owners,” said Gary Powroznik of G-Force.

“The teamwork and support by everyone involved, from the employees, suppliers, customers and the owner, made our work pleasurable,” said Ralph Miller of IHM.  “In all my years of experience with insolvencies and restructurings, this was a highlight for me,” said Bonita Lewis-Hand of Lawsons. “Far too often when companies get into financial trouble, forced realizations occur at fire-sale prices that result in losses for most stakeholders, which was the opposite of what happened here.”

One of the objectives in the restructuring plan was for Mrs. Faulkner to continue to live on the property where she was born.

“My dream has been to promote the spectacular nature of the property and share the experience with our thousands of customers, many of whom are close friends, as long as I am able to,” said Mrs. Faulkner. “I am looking forward to assisting the new owner with the ownership transition and to a new exciting era for Pretty Estates.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to build on the foundation established by Pretty Estates and the Pretty family that traces back to the 1800s,” said Peter Guo of Canadian Aurora. “Its property is absolutely spectacular, with the Sandpiper Golf Course nestled along the Harrison River, framed by the rugged backdrop of the Cheam Mountains amidst the quiet serenity of the ancient 180-foot Douglas fir trees.”

Canadian Aurora’s plans for the resort will be released in the next few weeks.

 

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