6 News undercover investigation includes talk of amenities

6 News undercover investigation includes talk of amenities

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Resort manager Lucy Webb said several foreclosed cabins were available and described many unique amenities that will open in "2010." Resort manager Lucy Webb said several foreclosed cabins were available and described many unique amenities that will open in "2010."
Sterling Webb claims the Laboys got in over their heads. As for the Shuberts, whose homes he managed for three years, he wasn't sure what happened to their cabins. Sterling Webb claims the Laboys got in over their heads. As for the Shuberts, whose homes he managed for three years, he wasn't sure what happened to their cabins.

6 News goes undercover

6 News producer Sarah Rook and photographer Dave Wignall took an undercover camera on a visit to Sterling Springs Resort recently.

Resort manager Lucy Webb said several foreclosed cabins were available and described many unique amenities that will open soon.

"This is where the spa will be located, the fitness center and all that? How long do you think it will take to finish?" our producer asked.

"2010," Lucy Webb told her.

But remember, on the flyer the Shuberts received, 2006 was the proposed date for the amenities to open.

Sterling Webb said the cabins would be considered a steal, having recently dropped in price dramatically. He said the unit where 6 News was had been reduced by about $100,000.

"What happened is things just grew and grew and grew. The prices were so inflated," Sterling Webb explained. 

The 6 News producer asked if she made an investment, what about management's rental charges?

Sterling Webb said his cut is below that of other Sevier County resorts. "Thousands of cabins, thousands of rental companies, it's a 40 / 60 split. That's the deal. What we're doing is 70 / 30, at this resort."

Sterling Webb also said it's a buyer market and with amenities like the zip line that opened last year and other features that will open next year, an investor will see cabin prices rising by next year.

"Then all of our time and focus will be directed toward management. We're going to manage this place and turn it into Disney Land," Sterling Webb said.

6 News showed Willie Laboy the video of Sterling Webb's comments. "A lot of promises, a lot of broken promises. And there are a lot of people like myself who work hard and we were just taken," Willie said. 

Fallout on the cabins

Willie and his wife lost their cabin to foreclosure several months ago.

One of the Shuberts' cabins has been taken over by their bank. The other will be foreclosed on in June.

"I think if things had been on the up and up, we would have still been there," Willie said.

Sterling Webb spoke with 6 News at Sterling Springs for this report. "Investment properties have been really down so we've turned our focus away from sales here," he said. 

Webb says the focus now at the resort is on amenities like the zip line and other features.

"The Laboys and the Shuberts, we've talked with them. They've lost their cabins. Why?" 6 News asked.

He claims the Laboys got in over their heads. As for the Shuberts, whose homes he managed for three years, he wasn't sure what happened to their cabins.

"The Laboys and the Shuberts are very upset about what went on. They claim there was mismanagement of their funds here. Was there mismanagement of funds here?" 6 News asked.

"No, sir," Webb said. Then he had his communications manager break up the interview.

However, 6 News kept asking questions as he got in his vehicle. Webb insisted Sterling Springs properly managed the rental books for owners. "They got their rent."

"They didn't get all of their rent. That's what they told us," 6 News said.

"Well, they're wrong," Webb said.

For the Laboys and the Shuberts, the dreams of promising dividends from their rental cabins have ended. But circumstances over how they lost their investments raise some troubling questions.

In Sevierville, four people filed lawsuits against Sterling Webb, including his own attorney, claiming they weren't paid.

According to documents, Webb was ordered to pay restitution.

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