Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sawgrass Marriott Gets Time to Regroup; but Some Ponte Vedra Leaders Are Skeptical Resort's Owners Will Get Finances in Order

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sawgrass Marriott Gets Time to Regroup; but Some Ponte Vedra Leaders Are Skeptical Resort's Owners Will Get Finances in Order

Article excerpt

Byline: SHAKAYA ANDRES

PONTE VEDRA BEACH - A judge's recent decision to give Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa six months to get its finances in order came as welcome news, officials said.

The highly visible and central resort is a key economic engine in the Ponte Vedra Beach area and is important because of its ties with The Players Championship, one of the area's largest tourism draws.

"These rulings are another positive step in our reorganization," said Jeff Mayers, general manager of the Sawgrass Marriott. "This continues to validate the ownership's management of the resort."

But St. Johns County Commissioner Phil Mays, who represents Ponte Vedra Beach, said he has limited confidence that the Sawgrass Marriott owners will be able to negotiate with their lenders to work out a successful resolution.

"The owners do not have a workable understanding of how to deal with their lender, which has been exemplified in the last few months," he said. "It's disappointing."

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul M. Glenn of Jacksonville approved a six-month extension last week allotting the Sawgrass Marriott owners more time to file a reorganization plan.

In granting the extension until Dec. 29, Glenn denied mortgagee Goldman Sachs' request to proceed with a foreclosure on the resort hotel, according to court filings.

The judge also approved the owners' request to hire Jones Lang LaSalle to search for investors to raise capital.

Two Irish investment partnerships, RQB Resort LP and RQB Development LP, own the 508-room resort. …

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