published Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Canyon Ridge development still in the works


by Brittany Cofer

Plans for a multi-million dollar hotel and conference center at the Canyon Ridge Club and Resort on Lookout Mountain continue to move forward, according to the resort's owner, Randy Baker.

The project has relied on financing from several avenues, including Build America Bonds and Recovery Zone Facility Bonds, both of which were not sold before they expired on Dec. 31.

However, Baker said Tuesday that financial consultants representing the county had advised before the deadline that the tidal wave of projects being pushed through before the deadline caused interest rates to soar, making a delay of the offering the most acceptable choice.

"It was simply not the time to lock in an interest rate for 30 years," Baker said in an e-mail. "Everyone agrees the rates will come down."

Baker said team members for the project are optimistic Congress will extend the Recovery Zone Facility Bonds this month - a $21 million chunk of the development.

Even without the bonds, the project can still move forward, he said.

"The county has been very clear regarding their expecations of the size and scope and quality of the project as well as their level of commitment," Baker said. "It is up to the hotel developer, operator, financial analyst and the balance of the team to comply with those expectations and I believe they will and I continue to support their efforts to do so."

Read tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press for complete coverage.

about Brittany Cofer...

Brittany Cofer is a business reporter who has been with the Chattanooga Times Free Press since January 2010. She previously worked as a general assignment Metro reporter. In the Business department, she covers banking, retail, tourism, consumer issues and green issues. Brittany is from Conyers, Ga., and spent two years at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., before transferring to the University of Georgia. She graduated from the university’s Grady College of Journalism in December ...

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