Jay Yablon has a lot on his mind these days.
He’s president of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association and the man behind the scenes for 232 unit owners who own a piece of one of Longboat Key’s most historic resorts.
The only problem is that the resort is rundown and vacant, which has prompted town officials to put an August deadline on getting the resort running again or face the possibility of losing approximately 100 grandfathered tourism units.
But nothing seems to faze Yablon.
Virtually every ruling went the association’s way in Tampa-based bankruptcy proceedings in 2009 and 2010, which caused the Colony, under ownership of Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber for the last 41 years, to collapse.
But Yablon has maintained all along that the Colony had to be broken before it could be fixed.
In 2011, Longboaters will find out if that’s true.
Yablon says he believes the majority of the resort’s unit owners want to see the aging property rejuvenated in a way that preserves many of the qualities Klauber created.
Yablon believes the consensus of any renovation plan, whether it involves renovating the existing complex or tearing it down and starting new, involves a historic renovation of the 42-year-old-resort.
Yablon and the board hired Sarasota-based Karins Engineering to come up with data that shows how the resort can be renovated or rebuilt.
The board has also hired an attorney to discuss matters with the town and hired a consultant to sift through renovation proposals for the resort this year.
And the association just obtained partial ownership of the coveted tennis courts that the town says is critical to the resort’s eventual re-opening.
But Yablon says the association refuses to rush into a decision.
“There is a lot going on right now behind the scenes that we just aren’t at liberty to talk about,” Yablon says.
And Yablon and town attorney David Persson maintain a deal can be worked out with the town to keep the resort’s current number of tourism units while renovating the resort in a reasonable amount of time.
And the owners are trying to find common ground to purchase the other parcels of resort property Klauber owns.
Yablon said Toronto-based Horwath HTL (Hotel, Tourism and Leisure) and its principal, Joel Rosen, who is acting as a strategic consultant for long-range planning of the resort’s future, have not yet begun reviewing renovation proposals by developers.
Yablon says a total renovation plan for the property could take three to five years to complete.
“As far as we are concerned, at this point in time, we are continuing to seek a fair, sensible and proportionate resolution of the issues involving the other Colony parcels,” Yablon said. “We are confident that we are handling the resort’s renovation the right way.”
Occupation: Patent trademark and copyright attorney
Hometown: Schenectady, N.Y.
Hobbies: Swimming and following current events
Passion: Science, technology and family
Interesting fact: As a solo practitioner, Yablon has obtained more than 200 foreign and domestic patents, trademarks and copyrights for various clients over the past 15 years, and he has about 70 patents pending.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected]