Garrett Co. Won’t Bail Out Whitewater Course

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — The Garrett County Commissioners say they won’t bail out a manmade whitewater course near Deep Creek Lake.

The nonprofit Adventure Sports Center International asked the county last month to consider taking over the mountaintop complex, including payments on about $3 million in bank loans.

The commissioners said Tuesday they won’t consider a takeover that would include the debt obligations.

The center’s operators defaulted on the bank loans after the group that owns the nearby Wisp ski resort stopped paying them for marketing services. The Wisp owners filed for bankruptcy protection in October due to a slowdown in sales of vacation home sites.

The commissioners say declining property values are squeezing the county’s budget, too.

The adventure sports center is scheduled to play host to the 2014 International Whitewater Paddling Championships.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • Crede Calhoun

    Considering that every other U.S. artificial whitewater course has gone belly up it’s not surprising that this did, especially considering it is in a tiny market. From the start it was clear that the govenrment funding for this project was meant to provide amenities for well connected real estate developers that needed a hook to sell lots. Considering that Garrett County is already home to some of the best natural whitewater rivers in the Nation the construction of an artifical river that directly competed with exisiting rafting and outdoor companies was misguided at best and greedy at worst. Why county leaders and state Reps like George Edwards (Republican) thought that government funds should be used to build a recreation business is clearly an example of the cronies ripping off the taxpayers so the connected few can profit to everyone elses expense. It’s time for the leaders of Garrett County and the state to realize that ‘responsibility’ has to be more than just lip service and that failed businesses must be allowed to die just as they do in the private sector, and that the propping up of failed businesses like this is not only wrong but is sure to fire up the anger of voters that is sick and tired of politicians spouting on about the importance of private enterprise but are all to willing to waste tax payer dollars if it benefits the old boys network.

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