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Golden Gaming Adds Another Investor

Feb. 3, 2005 — Golden Gaming is still a player. Hudson Realty Capital of New York, a real estate opportunity fund manger, announced in press release Friday that it will be funding a 12-month, $9 million first mortgage loan for the proposed resort development with over 500 rooms, a casino, and a golf course in the Great Pond area.
However, this loan does not appear to close the gap necessary before the V.I. government will kick in investment funds.
Kenneth E. Mapp, director of finance and administration for Public Finance Authority, said in November that V.I. legislators have said $41 million could be invested in the Golden Gaming Resort with no more than $32 million of that being spent on a conference center. However, PFA is waiting for Golden to show that he has investors ready to put $95 million into the project. If Golden presents plans and documentation that is acceptable to PFA board members, according to Mapp, the board members will then make a decision on how much it will invest in the project.
In November the PFA gave Paul Golden, who has been pushing his plans since 1999 an extension of three months to come up with investment capital and plans.
Golden received a six-month extension on his reservation for a casino permit from the Casino Control Commission in October. (See "Golden Gets Another Extension on Casino License"). However, comments reported from both meetings indicate that some officials are getting tired of making extensions and not seeing any concrete progress on the project.
The press release from Hudson Reality said the "loan proceeds will be used to retire the existing debt from site acquisition and fund pre-development costs associated with the proposed development."
Spencer Garfield, managing director of Hudson Realty, said, "This is a unique transaction for us in that we generally shy away from offshore destination-oriented investments. However, in this particular case there are multiple exist strategies for our investment."
He continued, "We expect this luxury resort will be well-received here as it will bring a host of economic benefits to the island, such as the creation of jobs and increased tourist traffic."
Golden Gaming ran through a controversy in 2004 getting a Major Coastal Zone Permit because St. Croix Coastal Zone Management committee members consider the Great Pond area a sensitive ecological area.
The permit was finally granted in January of 2005. (See "Golden Resorts Gets Permission to Build at Great Pond").
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