Glorieta’s new owners expand options for leaseholders

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GLORIETA, N.M.—Leaseholders of property at Glorieta Conference Center received a letter outlining new options from Glorieta 2.0, the Christian camping group buying the center from LifeWay Christian Resources.

Unlike a June 25 letter that raised concern among many leaseholders, the new offer allows permanent residents to remain at Glorieta as long as they desire and are physically able to live there, and it increases the maximum amount of a one-time buyout from $40,000 to $100,000.

Owners, leaseholders meet

Leaseholders disturbed by the original set of options met more than three-and-a-half hours July 9 with Anthony Scott, executive director and chief executive officer of Glorieta 2.0; Houston homebuilder David Weekley, chair of the Glorieta 2.0 board; and Jerry Rhyne, chief financial officer of LifeWay.

In a July 12 letter to leaseholders, representatives of Glorieta 2.0 wrote: “After our meeting, we talked and prayed with our team and then discussed with our board. As you asked, we have worked diligently to come up with better options. We are trying hard to balance all the competing demands for ministry dollars currently available. We want to be at Glorieta, and we heard from you that you want us there. So we are trying to go the extra mile to make this work.”

Original options

Originally, Glorieta 2.0 presented leaseholders three options:

• A one-time $40,000 buyout to leaseholders with homes on the conference center property, regardless of their size or appraised value.

• A new 12-year lease that imposes new restrictions on the use of conference center facilities. At the end of 12 years, the leaseholder has up to six months to remove his or her home, or it becomes the property of Glorieta 2.0.

• An invitation to donate their homes to Glorieta 2.0 as a charitable contribution.

The latest letter offered enhancements to the first two options. Rather than a flat rate of $40,000 regardless of a structure’s size, Glorieta 2.0 now offers $30 per square foot for finished and heated living space, with a minimum payment of $40,000 and maximum $100,000. Leaseholders who choose the option must leave the premises by Dec. 1.

The latest letter also allows leaseholders who sign a new 12-year lease but choose to cease leasing at Glorieta to be paid the agreed-upon amount for improvements on a pro-rated basis. For instance, a leaseholder who leaves after three years would be paid three-fourths of the compensation.

Special provision

The new letter makes special provision for permanent residents at Glorieta, allowing them to continue leasing at Glorieta after 12 years. It defines a permanent resident as someone with a demonstrated commitment to Christian ministry who does not own another residence and who occupies the Glorieta property at least 300 days a year “or who is a missionary and designates the property as a permanent address in the United States.”

“You will be able to lease and stay at Glorieta as long as you want and are physically able to be a permanent resident there,” the letter states.

Charles Goodyear of Arlington, a leaseholder at Glorieta, characterized the provision for full-time residents as “a major improvement,” but only for a few people, and when those residents eventually are unable to live at Glorieta, they will receive no compensation for their home. He viewed the increased payment for the one-time buyout as “very minor.”

“This allows the larger units and lodges to get slightly more compensation, although still below comparable markets,” he said.  In 2011, the price per square foot was more than $250 in Santa Fe and $206 in Eldorado.

Must choose by Sept. 1

But leaseholders who hope for more may be out of luck. In the July 12 letter, Glorieta 2.0 characterized the expanded offer as “a stretch for us—and as far as we can go and still be able to have the resources needed to revitalize Glorieta as we all desire.”

Leaseholders have until Sept. 1 to choose among the available options.

Glorieta Baptist Assembly opened as Southern Baptists’ second national conference center in 1952 and has been operated since then by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, which changed its name to LifeWay in 1998.

Editor’s Note:  The 3rd and 4th paragraphs from the end were edited after the story was originally posted to clarify one matter and provide more information.

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