Thursday, October 18, 2012

LifeWay nixes Glorieta sale...

...ensuring some years, one supposes, of continued financial losses.

LifeWay decides against Glorieta sale to Olivet

The Baptist Press story above quotes LifeWay's complete statement:
"LifeWay Christian Resources has reviewed the report from the National Association of Evangelicals, and decided not to go forward with the sale of Glorieta Conference Center to Olivet University. We are appreciative of our relationship with Olivet's leadership, and indebted to NAE for their thorough work. We will now renew our pursuit of viable options for the sale of the property."
Well...OK...what exactly about Olivet was learned through the NAE's "thorough work" which was labeled as a "theological study" whose purpose was to "determine compatibility" with "ours."

Incompatible? How so? In what respect?

I'm just a hacker and plodder in the SBC hinterlands but it looks like LifeWay caved on this sale just as soon as vested interests at Glorieta began to raise these questions. The alleged theological compatibility study was just cover, probably expensive cover for a decision already made.

Olivet, not insignificantly, already leases space there. This has the potential for becoming more interesting.

I don't care if LifeWay sells Glorieta, mothballs it, or finds ways to increase revenues so that it is not a financial drain. I'd just prefer some straight talk about the decision.

Glorieta is a problem, a money pit, and LifeWay has self-imposed encumbrances that make a sale difficult. These are:
  • -- "Significant protections for individuals and churches that lease land from Glorieta for houses and conference facilities
  • -- "Permission for LifeWay to continue using Glorieta for summer camps
  • -- "Accommodation of use by New Mexico Baptists
  • -- "Preservation of memorials associated with rooms and structures, and,
  • -- "Prohibition of re-selling the facilities in the future without LifeWay's permission."
Plodder will be the first to predict that LifeWay will go back to the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, to whom the place was offered for one dollar (they turned that down), and sweeten the deal.

Hey, doesn't cost me anything to make a wild conjecture here.

I will also predict that LifeWay will stonewall the theological compatibility study.  

Call me an irascible, semi-retired curmudgeon but sometimes I hate the way we choose to conduct our business.


Moses Model said...

It sounds like Lifeway wants to break up with Glorieta, but they still want to go to the movies together, talk on the phone for hours, hold hands, hug, eat dinner together every night, but still see other people. :)

Anonymous said...

For Sale: Glorietta Conference Center.

Sale Price: Lots of dollars to own and lots of dollars just to catch up on maintenance and the seller gets to use it when desired and the seller gets to determine policy for whoever buys property.

Sale Pitch: A real deal ... for the seller even in a buyer's market.

On a related note: Riley St. Upid, Director of CE Programs, announced that the certificate program in leadership, once a flagship program at the Center, has been cancelled, citing lack of interest among church members desiring leadership training. St. Upid stated that the Center would be looking into making curriculum changes to the leadership program.

Howell Scott said...


As you know, the $1 offer from Lifeway for the BCNM to purchase Glorieta was less than believable. It would take anywhere from $10-15 million for deferred maintenance that Lifeway did not perform over the last 25 years. There could be a reason why Glorieta lost money in 24 out of the last 25 years. Compared to Ridgecrest -- which Lifeway has heavily invested in by remodeling and additional building -- Glorieta is like a red-headed stepchild. But, then again, those of us in the west are becoming more and more aware that the words emanating from back east about wanting to help the west are just that -- words and nothing more.

As I have said before I will say again -- Lifeway's leadership -- past and present -- should be ashamed of how they have squandered the gift that was given to them by New Mexico Baptists. I'm not sure there is enough sweetener for us to buy what Lifeway is trying to sell anymore. I was going to have a piece on this today, but another story took precedence. Perhaps I'll have a post tomorrow. Thanks for your continued interest in Glorieta. God bless,


Lee said...

Maybe, just maybe, this is an example of all of the doors to a particular action closing, and a window of opportunity opening. It seems to me that a publishing house owning a conference center like Glorieta, right off an interstate highway in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, would generate a lot of creative ideas for not only using the facility, but generating enough revenue to renovate it up to standards. A paradigm shift has occurred, so let's find a way to do something different.