Milton resort 'still a go' despite financial troubles for Hoops' company

Grand Patrician Resort

Work continues on the Grand Patrician project, in Milton, on Tuesday.

MILTON — Plans for the Grand Patrician Resort in Milton will not be affected by the bankruptcy filed last week by Jeff Hoops’ company, Blackjewel LLC, according to the chief financial officer of the investment company funding the development.

“First and foremost, absolutely the Grand Patrician Resort is still a go,” said Brent Walls, Clearwater Investment Holdings LLC’s chief financial officer.

Walls said Clearwater is funding the entire project. Even though it is an unsecured creditor and owed $11 million by the mining companies that Hoops led, funding for the Grand Patrician is separate and not threatened by the mining companies’ financial problems, he said.

Meanwhile, crews continue construction on the multimillion-dollar project at the site of the former Morris Memorial Hospital. The structure of the former hospital is being converted into a hotel that will include standard rooms, large suites and a restaurant.

Walls said Clearwater has a diversified portfolio of investments of various types, including interest in companies, partnerships and limited liability companies; stocks, bonds and other securities and similar interests; and real estate and personal property investment and management.

“Clearwater is owned by the Clearwater Trust, a Hoops Dynasty Trust, which is controlled by the trustees of the Clearwater Trust,” Walls said. “These entities are not owned by, nor are they controlled by, any of the debtors in the bankruptcy case or their ex-chief executive officer, Jeffery A. Hoops Sr. Additionally, Mr. Hoops is not a trustee or beneficiary of the Clearwater Trust.”

A filing in 2017 for Grand Patrician Resort LLC listed under officers that M. Edward Cunningham II was organizer and Patricia A. Hoops, Jeffery Hoops’ wife, was manager.

Walls said it has been perceived by some that the resort is being financed by the debtors and controlled by Jeffery Hoops.

“This statement is simply not true,” Walls said. “While Mr. Hoops and his family have been a driving force behind the Grand Patrician Resort LLC, I can assure you that no funds have been taken from the debtors to finance this project or any other business, investment or financial interests of Clearwater.”

Following the news that Blackjewel filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, there were many questions, Walls said.

Blackjewel, et al, as defined within Chapter 11 Case No. 19-30289, includes Blackjewel LLC, Blackjewel Holdings LLC, Revelation Energy Holdings LLC, Revelation Management Corp., and Revelation Energy LLC.

“As chief financial officer of Clearwater, it is my duty to protect the financial interests and assets of the company and, as an unsecured creditor with more than $11 million owed to Clearwater from the debtors, I have been closely monitoring the Blackjewel bankruptcy case and its proceedings,” Walls said. “Neither the Grand Patrician Resort nor Clearwater Investment Holdings are affiliated with the Blackjewel LLC. Clearwater has made loans to the debtors; however, the funding of the project is not in jeopardy and the bankruptcy will not impact the project.

“Grand Patrician Resort has never received any funds from the debtors and never planned to receive any financing from them for the project. We will continue with the development as planned and uninterrupted by the Blackjewel bankruptcy.”

In December 2018, the Cabell County Commission approved $10 million in tax increment financing revenue bonds (TIF) that will be used for infrastructure on the property.

“Otherwise, the entire project will be funded by Clearwater Investment Holdings,” Walls said.

Additional plans for the resort include a wedding chapel, convention center, a 4,000-square-foot spa, an indoor swimming pool, baseball fields and a golf course. In addition, the plan for the site proposed in early 2018 includes a retirement facility, an amphitheater, resort villas, condo units and lots for single-family homes.

At one point, it was thought the retirement facility would need to be in the old hospital structure, because of National Historic Registry concerns, but that no longer is the case.

The projected grand opening date for the hotel, convention center and wedding chapel is scheduled for the summer or late 2020.


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