Grand Soleil avoids foreclosure

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 8, 2009

NATCHEZ — The Grand Soleil Casino Resort has evaded foreclosure once again.

The development was facing foreclosure on portions of its property from United Mississippi Bank today.

Britton & Koontz Bank had a foreclosure sale scheduled for Dec. 23.

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Both banks have agreed to stop proceedings, Grand Soleil attorney Kent Hudson said Monday.

“The most eminent danger to the project was resolved Friday night,” Hudson said. “It was accomplished through the individual investors already within the group.”

The hotel and casino development has four investors, including President Bill Bayba.

Bayba did not immediately return a phone message left Monday.

Hudson said the company has been in discussions with a private lender in California to add needed funds to the Natchez project.

Since the start of the economic downturn, Grand Soleil has admitted difficulties in finding the needed financing to move forward with the development.

B&K Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings on Grand Soleil once before, with the previous sale date set for Feb. 27. Arrangements were made to stop the proceedings.

UMB previously set a foreclosure sale date for Sept. 17, but that sale was avoided as well.

“This is an extremely difficult and rather complex deal to get complete, particularly given the markets and the circumstances,” Hudson said. “Work is continuing to make progress.”