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Konocti Resort shuts down

  • Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa (PD FILE, 2002)

Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa said goodbye Tuesday to its final guests after years of financial and legal upheaval.

About 10 rooms had been occupied for the final night. The doors shuttered for good at 10 p.m. when the restaurant closed.

But Lake County officials and its manager remain hopeful it will be purchased, rehabilitated and reinstated as the North Coast's largest music venue. It's on the market for $15 million.

“I've got my fingers crossed,” said Gregg Bennett, the resort's long-time chief executive officer.

The resort's court-appointed management company, White Star Advisors, did not return phone calls but county officials said some legitimate potential buyers have expressed interest in the 100-acre property located along the shores of Clear Lake near Kelseyville.

“I think there are some serious people who are working on it,” said Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown.

A potential buyer from outside the country, a person identified as having a music industry background, recently viewed the property, according to knowledgeable sources.

White Star Advisors spokesman Jim Bishop previously said several deals have fallen through.

The resort has been one of the county's premier tourist attractions and one of its largest private employers. As many as 600 people have worked there, most of them part-time or seasonal employees, according to a county report.

The property includes restaurants, swimming pools, tennis courts, a boat launch, 261 guest rooms, 20,000 square feet of meeting space, a 19,000 square foot spa and a 1,000-seat indoor concert hall. It also has a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater.

The resort has been owned since 1959 by Local 38 of the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Journeymen. It was operated as a seasonal resort until 1990 when the union hired Bennett to manage and expand the resort.

The money spent on the resort led to a court settlement that required its sale. The Labor Department sued the union, saying it mishandled members' benefit plans by diverting an estimated $36 million into renovating and operating the resort.

Despite the renovations, the resort sorely needs repairs.

“It has the potential to be a very successful property if it has the right owner or investors," said Lake County Administrator Kelly Cox.

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