For U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Ralph B. Kirscher, the opening hearing in the Moonlight Basin bankruptcy case, scheduled for this Tuesday in Butte, promises more than a little bit of deja vu: it was just a year ago that some of the same lawyers appeared in the same courtroom to begin arguments in the Yellowstone Club bankruptcy case, and there are certainly plenty of parallels in the two situations. Like the Yellowstone Club, Moonlight is a new ski-and-golf resort in Big Sky that got caught out with an unsustainable debt load when the mountain real estate market crashed. Like the Yellowstone Club, Moonlight is an important economic engine for Big Sky and greater Bozeman, and the outcome of the bankruptcy will have a big impact on the community. And as in the Yellowstone Club case, the opening chapter of the bankruptcy will likely feature a battle between management and a Wall Street lender over who controls the property while a broader solution is found.
By Jonathan Weber, Nov. 22, 2009

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