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Author: Subject: El Dorado Ranch History...anyone have a Sweepstakes Letter?
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[*] posted on 12-5-2014 at 11:08 PM
El Dorado Ranch History...anyone have a Sweepstakes Letter?


Back on 7-24-2005 Baja Lou posted the following:

Just a brief El Dorado history.

National Pen Co. formed a partnership with the local Ejido to develop the area. This was about 87 or 88. They sent out millions of sweepstakes winner letters giving the recepient a lot for nothing. Pay dues about $25 a year. When the people came down they found the lot was in the mountains - not accessable, but they could trade that in for credit on a lot in the development area (adjcent to Zoo Road). Of course these lots cost more - in the begining I think maybe $500-800 to upgrade. If they didn't want that, the area known as "The Highlands" about 10 miles west on Zoo Rd. was available for trade with no additional costs. Only catch, that area allowed no permenant structurs. Also you had to haul your own propane and water, etc.

The deal with the Ejido is what gave them such great acerage.

IN 93 or 94, National Pen sold it's intrest to Pat Butler, who had owned/ben involved with? Coast to Coast Campgrounds.

Pat is the one that saw the future (in his mind) and begin the big push to develop. Now they have a plane from San Francisoc each Sat returning on Sun and several busses from both San Diego and Phoenix bringing potential owners down. Often it's hard to get a room in town because El Dorado ties up the rooms for it's people.

A couple years ago, the deal with the Ejido changed and Pat bought a portion of the land outright. This is the thousands of acres that the lots are layed out in.

This being part of Mexicali, adding this area has been a giant undertaking, getting everything surveyed - getting street names - just everything

Good? Bad? It just is.

I am looking for anyone that has an original Sweepstakes letter or other historical pieces.

Appreciate any information.

Thank you :yes:

[Edited on 12-6-2014 by steekers]

[Edited on 12-6-2014 by steekers]
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12-6-2014 at 06:56 AM
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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 08:41 AM


Hi Michael!





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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 08:45 AM


I remember receiving one of those sweepstakes letters in the mail, of course I was a winner. I calculated at the time that if the thousands of lots were given away, and all the owners paid the fee to"register" their lot, it would amount to tens of millions of dollars. It was scam.



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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 09:30 AM


At one time we had 7 of them. All giving the same co -ordinates for lot location. On the side of a mountain ofcourse.
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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 09:33 AM


As I recall I was sent some sort of "deed of interest" which allowed 2000 dollars "credit" on a lot. We toured once for fun and the agent was so pushy insisting we "had" to close that same day....We got out of there after I verbalized our displeasure with her treatment. She seemed desperate to make a pressure sale.

Butler ran Beatrice Foods Corp for years and that's where he made his millions.




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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 09:34 AM


We won three lots over time, I wish I had the letter. I have met Pat B seems like a nice guy, I wouldn't by a lot there however.



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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 10:49 AM


Thank you all. Hi David...long time since we talked.

If any of you can find the letter I would appreciate getting a copy. If your a Baja collector like David, you might find it in your old files.

I ran across a producer who has worked with the History Channel and they are interested in the El Dorado history for a documentary.

After the last General burroembly meeting, Mr. Butler has many more residents very upset. Many believe he moved back to San Felipe to be closer to his piggy bank...the HOA he oversees. For 2015, the budget shows he will get over $800K USD as management fees, yet he refuses to pay dues on his own lots. There were over 50 owners who "returned" their dirt lots as they are done throwing more money (annual fees) away. instead of the lots going to our HOA, they went back to Butler to resell. Talk about a scam! The documentary is likely to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Personally, this saga is better suited for an American Greed episode.

[Edited on 12-6-2014 by steekers]
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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 11:02 AM


Sorry...keep trying to edit to say General a s s e m b l y...don't know why it didn't spell correctly.

[Edited on 12-6-2014 by steekers]
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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 11:31 AM


Quote: Originally posted by capt. mike  

Butler ran Beatrice Foods Corp for years and that's where he made his millions.


Hi Capt. Mike...what source did you get this from?

From sources I have, he made lots of money running Coast to Coast. He also got over $35 million from Textron back in 2002, and $4 million from Diversified Lending (who later the SEC busted for running a Ponzi scam) that was recently settled for a mere $500K.

There are now 2 known US Court Judgements (1 in San Francisco and 1 in Contra Costa) against Butler and his former marketing partners, RMAC (Rob Rios, and Michael Cresci) for over $700K.

Suffice it to say, the truth is now coming to light. While there are many residents who wish to ignore facts (similar to the false Hands Up, Don't Shoot narrative) many more want the stranglehold Butler has on the HOA to end. But the HOA piggybank is too lucrative for Butler to peacefully walk away.
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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 11:56 AM
Loco for Land in Baja article


Here is an article I have known about for months...will post some of it so as to not clog up this thread...the rest can be found on the Internet. Does this story sound familiar?:yes:

Loco For Land In Baja?
A Visit To Property Finds Just Who`s Scamming Whom
June 23, 1991|By Marla Donato, Chicago Tribune.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO No one really believed it, least of all me, that I really did own land in Mexico. But hey, at the very least it gave us an excuse to head for the land of sunshine and margaritas.
At least that was the argument I made over a couple of Tecate beers in the border town of the same name while my skeptical pair of companions assured me that my land deal was ``the scam to beat all scams.``
Maybe, my friend Katina suggested, we should just skip that part of the drive down the length of the coast of Baja California, Mexico.
``Absolutely not,`` I said.
My Mexican landholding was the reason I decided to make the trip in the first place. And besides, this was supposed to be a lark. What else could one expect as one of the ``LUCKY! winners of the FANTASTIC! (third prize in the)
National Pen SWEEPSTAKES!``?
The whole thing began a couple of years ago after I placed a mail-order for a Father`s Day gift: imprinted pens for my dad`s construction business.
Shortly after the pens arrived, I received a ``Deed of License for 5,000 Sq. Feet of Unimproved Land in the district of San Felipe, Baja California, Republic of Mexico.``
A letter explained that my property was ``near the beach and may overlook the Sea of Cortez,`` but because the ``Mexican Constitution forbids foreigners from outright ownership of such coastal property,`` I was entitled only to
``property rights until the year 2019.``
In the meantime, for $28.50 a year in taxes, I could be a part of El Dorado Ranch Estates.
Subsequent mailings included scenic beach snapshots and descriptions of plans to construct a pool, tennis court, whirlpool and palapa (open-sided, palm-roofed) bar cantina area, with more exciting attractions to come.
Who could refuse an offer like that?
So now we were in a van headed for my land.
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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 12:27 PM


I would think the HOA fund would be the only incentive (besides not being in the states re: judgements against) for this Butler scam artist to be in Mexico. I'm guessing that there will never be another lot sold in that place. Shame that folks are losing good money. Shame on Butler and his cronies. :fire:



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[*] posted on 12-6-2014 at 06:34 PM


I understand that the whole thing is on a master fideo and they can't get individual fideo's until the whole place is sold. These large land deals ALWAYS go sidewise.
The first rule of buying land in Mexico,"never spend more then you can walk away from".




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[*] posted on 12-7-2014 at 05:22 PM


I filed 13 my paper the same minute I received it. As a matter of fact they were represented at our county fair in Prescott, AZ. trying to give these to people years ago.

[Edited on 12-8-2014 by treuboff]
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[*] posted on 12-7-2014 at 05:27 PM


Quote: Originally posted by MMc  
I understand that the whole thing is on a master fideo and they can't get individual fideo's until the whole place is sold.

Not sure where you got this info., but I know several people in El Dorado who have their individual fideicomisos. Only the original owners of a lot can be/are in the Master Trust. With any resale the new owner MUST purchase their own fideicomiso. Our friends purchased a house there from someone last year and had to work through the bank and have received their fideicomiso.




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[*] posted on 12-7-2014 at 05:50 PM


Quote: Originally posted by treuboff  
I filed 13 my paper the same minute I received it. As a matter of fact they were represented at our county fair in Prescott, AZ. trying to give these to people years ago.

[Edited on 12-8-2014 by treuboff]


Not sure what you mean in your first sentence?? Can you explain?

There were originally 6606 lots in the mountain side "master trust" and some folks have decided to get an individual trust and get out of the master for whatever reason. The HOA has been paying over $35,000 USD per month in administrative fees to HSBC since 2005! To me this is a scam!
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[*] posted on 12-9-2014 at 10:14 AM


Steekers - When I was researching the place many years ago I read on a bio blurb that Butler worked as CEO of Beatrice Foods Corp and had left with a nice earned package.



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[*] posted on 12-9-2014 at 10:03 PM


File 13 is a trash can
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[*] posted on 12-9-2014 at 10:33 PM


Quote: Originally posted by treuboff  
File 13 is a trash can


I always called that the "circular file". That can be taken a couple of ways.... :lol:




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[*] posted on 12-10-2014 at 04:59 PM


Capt. Mike's post on 3/32/2011:

good luck chasing Butler. he made millions legitimately in the food services industry when he ran Beatrice corp and got his golden chute.

he has likely paid off soooo many people [mexicans]over the years that he is untouchable.

i still have my old "fee title" certificate good for one lot of my choice in the solar zone way back in the late 80s. hahaha. what a joke.
i used to correspond with him a lot and he always would say that the pista planned to replace Playa Maria was "about to start".
ha! love developers. no, i really do - i are one too. Or was one at least...
good times.

went on a property tour once when we rode the harley down to SF for thx giving. she could not believe i was not going to buy after her cheezy 90 minute tour and spiel.... worse than any condo time share goons i ever saw. We just laughed at her.

Hey Capt Mike...would like to see that "fee title" you said you have.:yes:


[Edited on 12-11-2014 by steekers]
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[*] posted on 12-10-2014 at 10:43 PM


I bought a time share at the old Vagabundos motel, next to the Misiones, which at the time was configured into suites. $6k for 7 days per year $200 a year for maint. fee. Senior Islas, now with Dorado, took care of us for 19 years there. He is the man. Our kids grew up there on the beach for fall break from diapers to college age. Now that was a bargain. Then El Dorado took over shut it down and made us stay in their compound. We let them keep the last year.
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