Citing a direct hit from the lack of snow this winter, owners of the decades-old Kachina Lodge in Taos have sought protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code from the U. S. Bankruptcy Court while they reorganize and restructure the debt on the property.
Owners W. Dean Koop and Sally Koop filed a motion on May 2 through their attorney with Giddens & Gatton Law of Albuquerque to restructure their debt on the property. According to Koop, the past year was the breaking point for his 22 years of ownership of the Kachina Lodge.
"The skiing conditions have been such that travel has been way down in Taos County during these past winter months," Koop said. "The hotel is going to continue operating and doing as well as it can to satisfy and please and give the guests enjoyment as they visit the property."
Guests can expect little to no interruptions while the restructuring is taking place, and employees can rest easy knowing Koop does not plan on cutting jobs at this point during the process. The nearly 15 employees at the Kachina Lodge are needed to maintain the property and keep it running for guests, according to Koop.
Filing for Chapter 11 means creditors are not allowed to collect debts or repossess any property and can also not demand payment during the restructuring.
While Koop could not immediately comment on the past five years of business at the hotel, he did indicate that the revenues from previous years had not been as bad as this past ski season. Koop said he plans to sell the hotel after the restructuring.
The Kachina Lodge was built in 1960 and has 92 guest rooms. The hotel was at one time one of the most popular dinner and dancing places for locals.
"The hotel has been a landmark in Taos for years and holds fond memories for many that grew up here. Like many of our oldest hotels with aging infrastructure, such as boiler-fired central heating, these facilities can more expensive to operate and repair," Town Manager Rick Bellis said in an email. "It is our hope that this bankruptcy gives the ownership the resources to preserve and restore this valuable landmark and to put these badly needed hotel and convention rooms back into usable condition for the benefit of the community and our visitors."
Bellis also said the town and state had sent a list of concerns to the owners that should be addressed at the hotel to maintain the health and public safety of guests and employees.
According to the list, many of the concerns had to do with electrical code violations, bathroom mold and holes in some walls that needed repair. Owners were notified and sent a reply that they were indeed working to resolve the issues.