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Updated Jan 14, 2013 - 10:40 am

Greer Lodge puts its 50 cabins up for sale

PHOENIX -- Last week, the owners of the Greer Lodge closed the lodge for good.

The lodge's owner, Doug Sandahl, told the Arizona Republic that "revenues plummeted and our expenses soared" following a May 2011 arson fire that destroyed the lodge.

No arrests have been made.

Sandahl, who has owned the resort since 2004, said he decided to close because rebuilding the lodge to code would have been too costly.

But the lodge's 50 cabins were undamaged in 2011 by both the arson fire and the Wallow fire and are now for sale, according to the lodge website.

On Friday, Greer realtor Tom Tilford sent out an e-mail -- recipients included subscribers to the resort's newsletter -- announcing that the cabins are being sold individually at prices that are below market value.

The e-mail said that the cabins range in size from 500 to 8,000-square feet. A restaurant, a motel, a retreat center, and vacant land associated with the Lodge are also for sale. Tilford's e-mail did not reveal the asking prices.

Tilford has not returned repeated requests for comment.

Valley real estate expert Dean Wegner said this buy could be a great investment.

"I think you're going to get a deeply discounted property in a great area," Wegner said. "It's a really good play."

Wegner did not have information on the prices of these cabins but said he has seen cabins in the area going for $75,000-$150,000.

He believes home values in Greer could jump 35 percent within the next two years. Greer is located some 200 miles east of Phoenix.

Wegner had some advice for any potential buyers who might be concerned about fire damage. He said before buying "Go up there, kick the tires, check out the area, and feel it. If it feels right, it's going to be a good play."

HomeFinder.com includes a community information section that claims that 68.7 percent of all of the homes in Greer are unoccupied.

"There's a lot of vacant properties, but as Warren Buffet says, 'You buy when everyone is selling, and you sell when everyone is buying,' " said Wegner.

Wegner said looking to buy a weekend getaway, there could also be good buys in Payson and Prescott.

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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