Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort, the state-owned hotel, conference center and golf course property in Western Maryland, is $66 million in the hole and that debt has played a central role in efforts to find a casino developer to take over the complex.
One of the reasons the Video Lottery Facility Location Commission tossed a bid for the Allegany County casino license is the development group never came up with a proposal that the holders of Rocky Gap debt found palatable.
The resort posted operating losses of $2.9 million in both fiscal 2008 and 2009, and in fiscal 2010, losses rose to $3.8 million, making Rocky Gap the biggest drag on the finances of the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. (Figures available here, page 9.)
The 280-acre resort — it includes 215 hotel rooms and an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course — generates enough cash to cover its operating expenses, but not enough to cover its debt payments, according to legislative budget analysts.
Most of the resort’s debt is in the form of MEDCO bonds issued to private entities. Four different issues carry $46.86 million in outstanding principal, and $2.82 million in interest.
The resort also has a $650,000 line of credit with MEDCO. As of June 30, it had tapped $579,692.
Rocky Gap also owes:
- $6.7 million in ground rent to the Department of Natural Resources, which owns Rocky Gap State Park.
- $482,296 in surcharges to DNR
- $306,774 in “host community fees” to Allegany County
- $3.36 million for a MEDCO service fee
- $608,145 in an advance to MEDCO
- $3.31 million to the Department of Business and Economic Development, which extended the resort a loan from the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund in May 1996
- $1.5 million to DBED, which also extended an interest free loan in November 2001