Mendocino's Heritage House reopens

  • 12/6/2008:B2: Visitors tour the grounds of the Heritage House in Little River. No buyer was found for the inn at an auction held Friday in Ukiah.
    12/4/2008:E2: Heritage House near Little River is closing. The 37-acre property, one of the first inns on the Mendocino coast, is is scheduled to be auctioned at 10 a.m. Friday on the courthouse steps in Ukiah for a minimum bid of $27 million.
    6/25/2008:E1: Heritage House on the Mendocino County coast is in the middle of a cash crisis. Its owner, Lantana Mendocino LLC, has defaulted on a $24 million loan less than three years after it bought the complex.
    9/2/2007: D1: Heritage House
    6/7/2006: E1: Jane Smitham and Cristian Almstrand tour the grounds of the Heritage House in Little River.
    10/5/2004: A1: Jane Smitham and Cristian Almstrand tour the grounds of Heritage House, near Little River, on Monday afternoon . A luxury hotel company has purchased the 37-acre property.
    PC: Photo by Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat Jane Smitham and Cristian Almstrand (cq) tour the grounds of the Heritage House, near Little River, on Monday afternoon, October 4, 2004.

The iconic Heritage House reopened Monday, more than five years after financial and legal woes shuttered the resort overlooking the rugged Mendocino Coast.

"It's been a long time," said Denis Ferguson, who manages the 37-acre resort in Little River for Heritage House LP, owned by Florida billionaire real estate entrepreneur Jeff Greene.

Greene is a onetime Florida Senate candidate who in 2006 foresaw the housing bubble, allowing him to make a fortune betting against subprime mortgages. He purchased Heritage House in March 2012 for about $8 million, nearly $20 million less than the price sought at a foreclosure auction in 2008.

Greene then initiated a multimillion dollar renovation that won't be completed until March or April, said Ferguson.

"Mr. Greene is not sparing any expenses," he said.

Only 15 of the resort's 70 rooms are available this week and all are spoken for, Ferguson said. The popular resort has many repeat customers who have anxiously awaited its reopening during the years of closure.

The resort's restaurant, which features a locally grown, organic menu, also is open.

Thirty rooms will be ready for occupancy next week and the rest are expected to be ready for guests in January, Ferguson said. The prices of the rooms and suites range from $175 to $800 a night, Ferguson said.

Renovations include structural work to shore up all of the buildings' foundations and remodel their interiors. There also will be three new structures, Ferguson said.

The finished facility will provide a high-quality, full-service experience without the stuffiness of a luxury resort, he said.

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