Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dropping Like a Shot Caille

Stuck in the middle of a nasty, multi-million dollar legal battle, La Caille Restaurant at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon has been put up for sale.  For a cool $20 million.  The only way it's worth that is if you tear the restaurant down and build it out as ski townhouses.

Locally, La Caille is still treated as an elite restaurant.  In reality, it's nearly as dated as the Five Alls.  Lots of restaurants in the area surpass it without breaking a sweat.  For years it's been surviving on prom dates and tourists who don't know any batter, and now thanks to the Internet, both those groups know better.  Other than driving by for the Christmas lights, the place doesn't deliver much.

But it has that view.  So if you're an investor, what do you do with it?  Buy it for $20 million, then dump another ton of money to upgrade it so it can compete with Stein Eriksen and the like so it can justify its prices and hope you can get a revenue stream to cover the bill?  Seriously?  In this economy?  Or do you start over and build canyon recreation townhouses?  County Planning may balk at first, but if their alternative is yet more commercial dead space, and at such a visible location, I think they'd come around.

La Caille may well be an endangered species.



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