Weyrich living high while employees and brides-to-be suffer

January 19, 2010

David Weyrich's rental home

By KAREN VELIE

While North County businessman David Weyrich has insufficient funds in his accounts to cover payroll checks and has refused to return wedding reservation deposits, he continues to live high on the hog, CalCoastNews has learned.

Employees of Weyrich’s Villa Toscana have informed couples who made reservations for their 2010 weddings that their deposits of up to $10,000 – in some cases – won’t be returned.

The luxury bed and breakfast spot in Paso Robles, the couples have been told, is to be closed, sources told CalCoastNews.

Jenn Hocker, a wedding designer and coordinator with Allure Event Design in San Luis Obispo, said that one of the biggest challenges these couples face will be trying to find a new venue this late in the (spring wedding) season.

“Even if they have sent out their invitations, they need to focus and pick a new venue,” Hocker said. “A lot of people book Villa Toscana because it is a dream place. I feel very sorry for everyone involved.”

Villa Toscana

Meanwhile, wedding professionals throughout San Luis Obispo County have pledged to offer substantial discounts to prospective brides who had booked their weddings at Villa Toscana.

For example, Vintage Traditions has stepped forward to assist couples who suddenly find themselves without a wedding venue by offering special rates at Avila Beach Golf Resort, Blacklake Golf Resort and Santa Margarita Ranch.

“The community will try to help out those in need with venues, unfortunately, it is a little late in the season,” said Sean Dasmann, Central Coast Wedding Professionals public relations director.

In addition, for more than a year, Weyrich has frequently paid his Carlton Hotel employees with checks that bounce. Employees claim managers at the Atascadero hotel wait until after 6 p.m. on Friday to distribute paychecks.

Employees, aware of Weyrich’s money woes, would race to Santa Lucia Bank on Monday mornings to be the first in line to be paid. Those at the end of the line had about a 50 percent chance that their checks would clear, sources said.

“You would have to be one of the first in line to be able to cash your check,” said Cassandra Hetrick, a former front desk assistant who quit the week before Christmas because she could not afford to buy gas to get to work. “I was warned after I was hired not to put the checks in my account because they would bounce.”

Though she has tried numerous times to cash the last paycheck she was given, she has been unsuccessful.

“I have one paycheck from Dec. 11 and they still owe me another check,” Hetrick said.

Meanwhile, Weyrich has moved out of his former 7,700-square-foot home because of a foreclosure, and is currently renting a 4,300-square-foot, $2 million home on Beaver Creek Road in Paso Robles.

“I think it stinks,” Hetrick said of Weyrich’s opulent lifestyle while not paying his employees. “Compared to the rent of a $2 million mansion, my $600 check is chump change. You have to take care of the people who work for you.”

Weyrich received his investment capital in 1998 when he sold Martin Media for $610 million, a company previously owned by father-in-law Edward Martin. The proceeds were divided up between family members and investors.

During the past 10 years, Weyrich invested in a number of risky business ventures, including a chain of “family-values” newspapers, scores of upscale real-estate developments, wineries, hotels and a jet-leasing business. He purchased millions of dollars in property, jet aircraft and a yacht.

Currently, Weyrich is deep in debt. He owes approximately $60 million to more than 150 agencies, lenders, vendors and individuals, according to inside sources familiar with his finances.

During the past few months, one of Weyrich’s creditors, Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Co., has been attempting to force a public auction of Villa Toscana, Martin and Weyrich Winery, York Mountain Winery and several vineyards to cover a $20 million debt. The auction, already postponed several times, is now scheduled for Feb. 1.

Neither Weyrich nor managers of some of his various ventures responded to CalCoastNews’ repeated requests for comment.


52 Comments

  1. CambriaKing says:

    This guy reminds me of a character from the Austin Powers’ movies…Fat Ba……..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    • cheseburger says:

      Ha, that would be fat bast*rd, to bad Gearhart already got that part, maybe he can get a chance at the next remake of Flubber!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  2. briggs2000 says:

    Kaabooom!!! what is that they say… umm, ahhh what comes around goes around….

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Monday, Feb. 01, 2010

    Weyrich loses Villa Toscana, wineries and vineyards to lender at auction
    By Melanie Cleveland | mcleveland@thetribunenews.com

    North County businessman David Weyrich lost key real estate holdings to lender Aegon at a public auction today after an unsuccessful attempt at finding a buyer for the properties.

    The properties now in Aegon’s possession include the luxury hotel Villa Toscana and Martin Weyrich Winery, vineyards and tasting room in Paso Robles; York Mountain Winery and vineyards in Templeton; and Jack Ranch Vineyard in San Luis Obispo.

    Since the late 1990s, Weyrich had invested millions of dollars into housing developments, a jet service, wineries and hotels in the county. But he has been steadily losing ground to his creditors in the last two years.

    Martin Weyrich LLC owed Aegon more than $17 million for the properties. The firm had postponed the auction three times since November because Weyrich was working with a private buyer to buy out Aegon’s interest, but no buyers ultimately stepped forward with terms satisfactory enough to the lender, according to brokers and lenders close to negotiations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. Paperboys says:

    For the life of me I can’t even imagine $200 million let alone figure out how to blow through it in 10 years.
    Me, I would have taken that $200 million and retired, lived the good life for the rest of my days.
    But Weyrich I guess wanted to be a billionaire. Now he’s broker than I am.
    Weyrich is obviously a man of exorbitant appetites and he bit off more than he could chew. It serves him right to be in this mess. He needs to make good on all this or officially become not only the worst businessman of all time, but the biggest hypocrite ever. Catholic my a**.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  4. briggs2000 says:

    An Open Letter to OUR District Attorney:

    I have several friends (and they know of more) that are holding bad payroll checks from Weyrich et. al. While I know much of the noise surrounding Weyrich is Civil and that will work through the systems, as you well know, writing bad checks is not civil, it’s CRIMINAL.

    And while I have encouraged everyone I know to submit the PAYROLL checks to your bad check program, most are intimidated by the process. Please see the below links and with that – you now know what is going on – again I’m sure.

    As OUR District Attorney, I am hoping you take a more proactive role with this and get in front of the story – instead of cleaning it up after the fact. Employees have to be paid and the longer this goes on, the more damages accrue to people who cannot afford it. And all of these employees are wage based (non-exempt) employees.

    Please do your job!

    Interview from KVEC920am:
    Click to Listen
    http://drop.io/weyrich

    San Luis Tribune:
    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/story/1008373.html

    Cal Coast News:
    http://calcoastnews.com/2010/01/weyrich-living-high-while-employees-and-brides-to-be-suffer/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    • utube says:

      Weyrich has some development proposal listed online under county permits for North county-Wonder if this could be his brother? But if it is HIM and he is still building in this situation? THAT should be shut down..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  5. Gsan says:

    That’s an old picture of the Carlton. Some of the neon sign letters have been out for a long time … an evidence of …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. Payback says:

    Greedy, gluttonous, pigs, all of them…David Wyrich, Hurst Financial, Gearhart…and these just those that got caught. There are many more like them in this corrupt little town of Paso. Newcomers beware! You are their PREY!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 12

    • fat chance says:

      Your right it’s Paso fault that two losers from Atascadero stole everybodys money:-( You are right about Weyrich being a thief but I still don’t think you can put the blame on Paso Robles!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

      • cheseburger says:

        Fat chance, I don’t think he meant the town of Paso Pobles, I think he meant the city administrators who paved the way for Gearhart’s destruction, refer to previous cal coast article.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. cheseburger says:

    Don’t buy the wine, don’t eat at the dive and line up and picket the place, that’s exactly how one lady got all her money back from Hurst, before it was to late. Organize a rally in front of the Hotel, all unpaid personnel do attend and scream like hell so all the customers will leave!
    Think about it an organized boycott of all “Weyrich”, services and products! I bet he cringes when he reads this, hit him where it hurts, in the wallet and to his soon to be creditors, three of you can force him into involuntary bankruptcy, in federal court, S.B.
    So there’s the recipe, start cooking his *ss! Really this might work!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 28 Thumb down 7

  8. Cindy says:

    Unfortunately the Carlton Hotel is the cornerstone and anchor for Atascadero’s main street. I used to support them despite their mediocre food (sometimes outright unpalatable) and their powty pussed employees. The fact is that the Carlton isn’t going to survive, so I hope when it goes into bankruptcy it is bought out by someone who knows something about running a hotel business. At the same time at least the proceeds will go to Weyricks creditors.
    Does anyone recall the the hummer limo that used to cruise Atascadero and the Carlton when it first opened? Not sure which 400lb butt was in the back seat, Weyrick or Gearhart or both. It sure was a gauche spectacle and I knew something wasn’t right about someone that had a need to flaunt their “butt” like that. It was anything but impressive then and it’s just laughable now

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 9

  9. standup says:

    He is a fat pig, plain and simple. He is very lucky that wasn’t my wedding he took the deposit from. I would get it back no matter what kind of “convincing” it took. I would ruin his day I’m sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 7

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