March 24, 2011 | 07:36 PMDelavan - Late Thursday evening, green gates blocked anyone trying to enter Lake Lawn Resort.
But, on Friday afternoon, bankers from up to 14 different institutions that have a stake in the property were expected to meet on the grounds.
Delavan Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis and prospective Lake Lawn buyer Jim Drescher told a room full of interested people Thursday night at City Hall about the scheduled gathering by the bankers. Nieuwenhuis said there are people from some of the banks involved that have never even seen what Lake Lawn looks like.
Drescher said he believes the meeting is scheduled for about 1 p.m., but prior to that, he will make his final offer on the property.
During the past few weeks, Drescher and a group of investors has met with Anchor Bank personnel to try to make a deal for the property. On March 17, the Delavan City Council gave Drescher their blessing to purchase the property. However, after an offer on March 18, which was for about $9.5 million, Drescher said talks between him and Anchor Bank have gone "dark." He said repeated efforts to contact Patrick Wright from Anchor Bank have not been returned.
Now Drescher thinks there are other possible buyers in the mix, specifically after the local investors' offers were released in the media.
He told members of the City Council Thursday night that his offer Friday, which will be a cash offer that can be closed within 30 days, likely will be his last effort to purchase the resort.
"After tomorrow night, I may no longer be a buyer," Drescher said as some in the audience groaned after his statement.
He told the council he was frustrated with the entire situation and has worked almost nonstop the past week to try to make a deal. However, he said he doesn't trust Anchor Bank.
"They are dealing in the dark and everybody here is going to pay the price," he said. "They are doing an injustice to Delavan and Walworth County."
On Thursday night, the City Council agreed to draft a letter and complete a resolution supporting Drescher's efforts to purchase the property. Drescher said he wanted to include those items in the offer he expected to make Friday morning.
See this website and the Lake Geneva Regional News for continuing coverage of the purchase of Lake Lawn.