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Tamarack Golf Course, Once Entwined in Scandal, To Be Auctioned Dec. 29

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Would-be convicted swindler Michael Hutcheson in November 2010, announcing his plan to buy Tamarack. - GEORGE PRENTICE
  • George Prentice
  • Would-be convicted swindler Michael Hutcheson in November 2010, announcing his plan to buy Tamarack.
After years in financial limbo, most of the land comprising the Osprey Meadows golf course at Tamarack Resort will be auctioned off. The Valley County Sheriff's Office will put the course on the block Thursday, Dec. 29 at the Valley County Courthouse. The bidding will start at $1.2 million.

The long decline of Osprey Meadows began in November 2010, when Eagle businessman Matthew Hutcheson announced his intention to buy the entire Tamarack resort for $40 million. Hutcheson, then a fund manager, was tight-lipped on the details, however, refusing to take any questions in the hastily-called news conference announcing the proposed acquisition.

About two years later, Hutcheson had to stand before a U.S. District Court judge and answer a number of questions before being sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison for what prosecutors said was an elaborate swindling scheme. Federal prosecutors said Hutcheson had stolen money from pensions funds in order to, among other things, purchase an interest in Osprey Meadows, renovate his Eagle home and buy personal vehicles. Officials with one pension plan, RSPT, said they had been defrauded by Hutcheson to the tune of $3.2 million.

When Hutcheson was busted for bilking RSPT, the fund took ownership of Osprey Meadows. However, with no way to operate it, the property—which includes some state land—lay fallow. Whoever walks away from the Dec. 29 auction as the new owner of the Osprey Meadows property will need to hammer out an agreement with state officials over the chunk of state land contained in the parcel. It is unclear what will happen to the Idaho state liquor license attached to golf course, which has remained unused for two years. That license is scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2017.

Earlier this month, members of the Tamarack homeowners association announced they had paid back taxes due on some of the other properties at the Valley County resort, including the Canoe Grill, Seven Devils Pub, Sports Dome, Wildhorse Youth Activity Center and some undeveloped lots. The homeowners opted not to pay the nearly $13 million in back taxes still due on the resort's Blue Mountain Subdivision, a former medical clinic, the former Crane Creek market and 14 hotel units in the Lodge at Osprey Meadows.
Incomplete Tamarack Village. - A. DAVEY,  CC BY 2.0
  • A. Davey, CC by 2.0
  • Incomplete Tamarack Village.

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