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New owners may wait until renovation complete before reopening

  • 12/4/2008:E1: The luxury Heritage House near Little River will go on the auction block Friday.10/5/2004: A13: The Carousel guest residence of Heritage House overlooks a cove.

    PC: Photo by Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat The Carousel guest residence of the Heritage House Inns, near Little River, overlooks a cove.

The iconic Heritage House, a Mendocino Coast resort with sweeping views of the ocean, remains closed three months after its planned reopening.

"There was a change in strategy. Now they're trying to decide whether they want to completely renovate the resort before they open," said Bill Heaney, a hospitality consultant connected with the project.

The owner or owners have remained anonymous since purchasing the bankrupt luxury resort in March for $8 million under the name Heritage House LP.

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In May, Heaney said the owner planned to open a portion of the 66-unit property in June and the rest when renovations were complete.

The resort's manager could not be reached Friday for further details about the progress of the makeover.

Heritage House includes a main building, cottages, spa and restaurant along Highway 1 in Little River. It's famous for being the setting of the 1978 movie "Same Time Next Year," starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn.

Its closure has disappointed the many people who have made it a regular destination.

The resort closed four years ago amid financial and legal problems.

Lantana Mendocino LLC, the former owner, lost the resort to foreclosure. The lender, a German bank, was owed $27 million when it foreclosed, according to court records.

Lantana also owed more than $300,000 in bed taxes it collected but failed to turn over to the county. Co-owner David Wilk paid an estimated $210,000 to settle an embezzlement case filed in connection with the withheld taxes.

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or Glenda.anderson@perssdemocrat.com.


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