Auction date set for Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa

The judge overseeing the bankruptcy of the Daufuskie Island Resort & Breathe Spa has set a time and date for an auction: 11 a.m. Oct. 21 at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John E. Waites had authorized trustee Robert C. Onorato to hire J.P. King Auction Co. of Gadsden, Ala., to conduct the auction, in which the resort could be sold in its entirety or in pieces.

Onorato said in August he hoped the resort could be sold without an auction.

Trustee spokesman Tobin Spirer produced a statement Tuesday that did not address that possibility.

"The auction is scheduled because the trustee has been unable to obtain an acceptable contract from a qualified buyer," the statement read in part. "The effort has been severely hampered by an economic climate that is arguably one of the most difficult in recent memory."

A hearing is slated Oct. 25 in Columbia to consider the results of the auction.

Montauk Resorts, a North Carolina company managed by former NFL player and developer Mike Bass, bid $49.5 million last year but has not closed the deal.

The Daufuskie resort includes an inn, two golf courses, tennis courts, several restaurants, an equestrian center and entitlements to develop more than 500 commercial and residential parcels.

It once was a major employer on the sparsely developed island, which is off the southern tip of Hilton Head Island and accessible only by boat. Owners Gayle and Bill Dixon declared bankruptcy in January 2009.

Josh McCann