Hospitality companies, developers and investors are expected to turn out in force for the auction of SA’s only ski resort, Tiffendell.

In its heyday, the 101ha farm on the Ben McDhui peak of the Drakensberg Mountains in Eastern Cape drew hordes of visitors, who were guaranteed 100 days of snow every year – with snow machines to ensure skiing was always possible.

The auction on July 12 – with no reserve price set – will mark the end of a four-year legal battle. In its final days, the resort struggled to operate without snow machines and ski lifts, which were among the assets that had been attached.

The High Street Auction Company said that Tiffendell’s demise began in 2007 with a sale gone sour. It only ended last October.

“KPMG were in 2009 appointed liquidators, and now the resort will finally be sold to the highest bidder,” said Nick Pretorius, the auction house’s sales director.

He added that while “no reserve” or “absolute auctions” were rare in SA, the decision had been made to ensure a true, market-related value for the property was achieved.

“Absolute auctions are uncommon because there is no price protection on the seller’s behalf. However, we and the liquidators agreed that because everyone has the chance to participate in an absolute auction, a simple case of the highest bidder wins will generate the best possible price in current market conditions,” Pretorius explained.

Weekend Argus