Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Lakeview Hotels seeks court OK to buy Hecla Oasis Resort

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A division of Lakeview Hotels has made an offer to purchase the Hecla Oasis Resort out of receivership.

The troubled Lake Winnipeg resort about 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg has been closed for two years.

Keith Levit, president of Lakeview, said the company won't hear until Monday if the court has approved the offer.

"There are several stages in the process," Levit said. "The first is getting the court to approve, and that decision has been adjourned until Monday. Then we would have to deal with the province. It is a long way from getting the deal done."

Levit would not comment on the company's plans for the resort. There have been reports Lakeview would like to reopen it next spring but wants the provincial government to allow more video lottery terminals to make the business more viable.

Former city council candidate Ian Rabb had previously made a $3.1-million offer to buy the property and convert it into a high-end drug and alcohol addictions treatment centre.

Rabb said he never got a response to his offer.

"I'm not impressed," Rabb said. "It looks like the province believes that gambling's OK there but not a recovery facility."

The resort's former owner, Paletta & Company Hotels Ltd., is involved in a lawsuit with the province over the firm's attempt to convert the resort to a health and wellness centre. The province -- which sold the property to Paletta for $1 -- and the Business Development Bank of Canada loaned Paletta $5 million and $8.5 million respectively and refused to sign off on the new plan.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2012 B11

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