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Lehman collapse suspends Ritz renovation

October 01, 2008|Valli Herman | Times Staff Writer

Fallout from the recent bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. has caused construction to be halted indefinitely at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage.

The 20-year-old resort, formerly the Lodge at Rancho Mirage, was expected to show off the results of a $500-million, top-to-bottom overhaul early next year, but contractor Ledcor Petty of San Diego halted construction Sept. 16, a day after Lehman, the hotel's major lender, declared bankruptcy, said Emily Hemphill, an attorney representing the hotel's owners, GenLB Rancho Hotel.

As the owners waited for the Lehman loans to be restructured, Hemphill said, the hotel also was investigating replacement sources of financing for the 80%-complete hotel.

As the project sits idle, Hemphill said, a construction team is looking at the site "to see what we need to do to keep it safe and presentable."

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valli.herman@latimes.com

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