EL DORADO RANCH HISTORY
Below is a synopsis of the history of El Dorado Ranch and its "owners".
- Late 1980s - National Pen Corporation agrees to lease land from the Ejido Plan Nacional Agraio (a group of Mexican families who had been given land by the Mexican government).
- Late 1980s - National Pen Corporation gives away lots at El Dorado Ranch for free, providing a deed of license.
- 1994 - El Dorado Ranch development rights and leases acquired by Pat Butler via a seller take-back note. Pat Butler who "sells" lots. "Buyers" believe they own these lots, not that the land is leased.
- 1995 - Pat Butler generates enough sales to pay off the seller take-back note for $3.5 million. See "Butler makes a risky move developing in Baja, Mexico", The Denver Business Journal: June 21, 2002, by Barb Granica.
- 1995 - 2003 - Pat Butler continues to "sell" lots that are on Ejido Plan Nacional Agraio leased land.
- March 2000 - As the "owner" of one of the original National Pen Corporation give away lots, Luther Butler discoveres that he does not really own the land for which he has a deed of license. An excerpt of his experience documented in "THE ROAD TO EL DORADO (RANCH): From Stephenville, Texas to Baja California, Mexico - March 7, - March 30, 2000".
- 2003 - Pat Butler purchases the El Dorado Ranch land from the Ejido Plan Nacional Agraio.
- November 2003 - Existing El Dorado Ranch "owners" are given the choice to purchase their land for $3,750, causing confusion because purchasers had believed they already owned their land. After the fact, the reality that the land was never really owned is documented in "5,000 Baja foreigners - Benefit from a historic lease to purchase windfall" by MexicoMatters.net.
- November 2003 - Mid-2005 - "Owners" who have paid the $3,750 wait to receive Certificates of Beneficiary Rights from HSBC bank via a "Master Trust". However, most "owners" do not realize that a piece of paper from HSBC does not mean that their property is registered under their name with the Mexican government. In other words, they still are not "owners" of the land in the eyes of the Mexican government. The only way to do this is via a fideicomiso.
- Mid-2005 - A few "owners" who have paid the $3,750 begin to pursue their individual fideicomisos, since the El Dorado Ranch newsletters indicates this is now possible. However, El Dorado Ranch personnel indicate they have no process in place to explain how to obtain an individual fideicomiso. The "owners" obtain legal council for assistance. Their lawyer discovers that El Dorado Ranch had not filed the proper subdivision information with the Mexican government. The fideicomisos are delayed.
- June 2006 - Stewart Title indicates they have completed one trial individual fideicomiso together with El Dorado Ranch.
- August 2006 - El Dorado Ranch indicates that it is about ready to work with "owners" to obtain individual fideicomisos.
- September 2006 - HSBC bank has the paperwork for the individual fideicomisos for the few "owners" who elected to try and obtain individual fideicomisos via legal council.
At this time, anyone who "purchased" land prior to November 2003 and has not paid the $3,750 is only leasing their land.
Excerpt from "THE ROAD TO EL DORADO (RANCH): From Stephenville, Texas to Baja California, Mexico - March 7, - March 30, 2000"
by Luther Butler
"The salesman explained, 'El Dorado Ranch is a leased part of the Ejido Plan Nacional Agraio that the Mexican government created to resettle homeless people from Mexico City. The homeless people took one look at their vast 200,000 acres of desert, built themselves some shacks that are adequate for the warm desert, and leased the rest to American Pen which in turn gave promotional lots to its retailers. Whether or not the company intended to cheat, the lots it gave are in a section the Mexican government reserved for a wildlife refuge.'
Luke asked, 'Then can I camp on it?'
'For a price you can camp in the camping area. Would you be interested in upgrading your lot and buying in closer to the Sea? El Dorado Enterprises out of Colorado Springs bought out American Pen.'
After he heard the price, Luke refused. I spoke up, 'Look, I’ve been paying $40 a year for a number of years.'
'Oh yes,' the salesman said, 'the association uses membership fees to pay rent to the owners.'
'Don’t we get anything for our money?' I asked.
The salesman signed a membership card and said, 'Make yourself at home. You can use the beach, clubhouse, tennis courts and such. By the way, Pat Butler, the owner, will be here tomorrow. Come by and meet him.'"
This web site is the property of Asociación de Colonos de Rancho El Dorado, A.C. and is not affiliated with the El Dorado Ranch development in any way