Isis owners in hot water with mortgage firm
The mortgage company holding a $5.4 million promissory note for the Isis Theater property claims that the owners of the building have defaulted on their payments.GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. filed the complaint in Pitkin County District Civil Court on Friday. The court documents do not specify how many payments Aspen-based Isis LLC has missed or been late in making, but indicate the Isis owners took out a $5.4 million loan in January 2000.Sam Houston, a partner in Isis LLC, declined to comment Friday regarding the theater ownership’s private financial matters, saying “it’s a financial glitch we’ll work our way through.”Attorneys for the mortgage company did not return calls seeking comment Friday afternoon.”We’ve been keeping it as a theater for many years, and we want to keep it as a theater. We intend to work our way through this,” Houston said. “Theaters are like grocery stores – they’re important assets that all locals and visitors can afford to enjoy.”The Isis owners currently lease the five-screen movie house on Hopkins Avenue to Idaho-based Rocky Mountain Resort Cinemas, which runs the theater operation.”Our tenant is doing a great job bringing great films to this area,” Houston said. The Isis LLC partnership purchased what had been a funky, one-screen theater in 1997 and redeveloped it as a multiscreen, state-of-the-art cinema that reopened in December 1999. Its first operator, the financially troubled Resort Theaters of America, pulled out a year later and the Isis sat vacant until June 2002, when Rocky Mountain Resort Cinemas reopened the theater after negotiating a lease with the owners.Isis LLC put the theater property on the market in May 2001 after Aspen voters rejected a proposed sales tax that would have allowed the city to lease the theater with an option to buy it. A for-sale sign remains on the building.In June 2003, the partnership won a $5.8 million judgment against a Swedish company that had guaranteed the Isis’ initial lease with Resort Theaters of America; Svensk Filmindustri appealed the ruling.Janet Urquhart contributed to this report. Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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RFTA has a bit of a paradox on its hands. The public bus agency doesn’t anticipate it will haul as many passengers this winter but it needs more buses and drivers than ever. Only 15 people are allowed per bus, so that saps resources.