Deeds and WeedsFebruary 2, 2009

Yellowstone St. Andrews Doomed?

The Blixseth golf real estate empire continues to crumble.

Billionaire Tim Blixseth was the mastermind of a plan to build a network of high-end golf and real-estate communities in the U.S. and around the world, beginning with the Yellowstone Club and eventually totaling 10 clubs in places as far flung as Palm Springs and France. But then Blixseth -- once listed as one of the 400 richest Americans by Forbes -- was hit with a double whammy: a nasty divorce from his wife, Edra, which meant the breakup of their properties; and the downturn in the worldwide real-estate market.

Last year the Yellowstone Club (which went to Edra in the divorce) was forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with debts of nearly $400 million. And in today's edition of The Herald, a report suggests that Yellowstone St. Andrews, Blixseth's golf real estate project near the cradle of golf (also now controlled by Edra), appears doomed. The story says the 265-acre parcel of land on which the development was to have been built has now been put up for sale.

A spokesman for Edra Blixseth told The Herald that her hope is to sell the St. Andrews land and use the proceeds to try "and take those proceeds and use them towards the Yellowstone Club operations."

The members at Yellowstone -- who reportedly include Bill Gates and former vice president Dan Quayle -- probably aren't holding their collective breath.

-- G.R.