Possible savior for Woods' N.C. design emerges

Tiger Woods announces plans for The Cliffs at High Carolina during a 2007 press conference.

The Cliffs, the financially troubled network of high-end communities in North and South Carolina that includes Tiger Woods' stalled mountain course, will be under new ownership.

As for the future of High Carolina, the Blue Ridge design south of Asheville that would be Woods' first U.S. creation, that remains uncertain.

Buyers Steve and Penny Carlile, a Marshall, Texas, couple whose Carlile Group intends to buy The Cliffs out of bankruptcy, told the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times that they will inject more money into the clubhouses and golf courses and oversee sales efforts in The Cliffs' eight communities. The Carliles already had a vested interest in the success of the project, which stalled amid the recent economic recession, as property owners at High Carolina. However, fewer than 50 of 1,100 planed lots have been sold there, and only two homes stand in the 3,000-acre development, according to the Citizen-Times.

Steve Carlile called High Carolina "a remarkable property that needs a remarkable solution."

Work on Woods' design was stopped last year, with only about one-fourth of the rough grading reportedly completed.

Tim Cherry, the chief financial officer of The Cliffs, said that ClubCo, the subsidiary that owns the golf courses and related amenities, anticipates a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to the Citizen-Times.

In April 2010, The Cliffs announced that it was borrowing $62 million from community residents to build golf courses and amenities at the developments. That money went to the subsidiary that intends to file for bankruptcy protection, the Citizen-Times reported.

“We plan to do this with our own capital," Steve Carlile, who made his fortune in oil-and-gas exploration, trucking and home-product sales, told the Citizen-Times. "We don’t plan to add bank debt on top of the debts that are already there.”

No purchase price was disclosed.

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