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“They don’t interact with the people of Bozeman. They’re not coming to the Western Cafe, that’s for sure,” said Ms. Ortman, whose diner boasts the “best chicken-fried steak in the West.”

At one time, club members paid $250,000 to join and another $16,000 in annual dues, and were then required to buy one of the resort’s properties for their own use. Still, that wasn’t enough to prevent the primo resort from becoming mired in debt, offering further proof that even the super-rich aren’t immune from the nation’s economic crisis.

Founded in 1999, the Yellowstone Club, named for the nearby national park, billed itself as the world’s only ski-in, ski-out resort. Its millionaires-only requirement attracted a high-profile clientele drawn to its 60 ski runs, luxurious amenities and promise of privacy.

The Yellowstone Club even had a name for it: “Private Powder.”

Mr. Blixseth had ambitious plans for expanding the club internationally, and had bought expensive properties in Mexico, Scotland, France and the Caribbean, even as the real estate market was souring.

Troubles began surfacing earlier this year. First, the Blixseths divorced, with Mrs. Blixseth assuming control of the club. In August, they settled a $39.5 million lawsuit with club member and cycling superstar Greg LeMond, who had accused the Blixseths of trying to buy his minority stake in the company for less than its true value.

Last month, Mr. LeMond asked a state judge to order the Blixseths to pay him the remaining $13 million of the settlement, according to the Associated Press.

Club members had questioned whether a 2005 Credit Suisse loan for $375 million went to the club or to the Blixseths. During the LeMond lawsuit, testimony showed that $209 million was signed over to BGI Inc., a corporation controlled at the time by Mr. Blixseth.

Mrs. Blixseth has sold off some assets since taking over, but the club was still heavily leveraged. With the onset of the economic crisis, and ensuing credit crunch, the club was unable to patch together enough loans to keep its operation running.

It’s a far cry from 2006, when the Blixseths had announced plans to construct a $155 million, 53,000-square-foot lodge billed as world’s most expensive home. The stone-and-wood Montana mansion, slated to be completed in 2008, was never built.