November 30, 2022 Newsletter

… from the desk of David Lee Hoffman

Dear Tea Drinking Friends & Supporters of The Last Resort,

First, the good news. This year we received some of the best teas ever, especially with the greens and Phoenix Mountain Oolong Reserves. Look at our website to see our current tea list. You can also give Jeannie a call in the office Tuesday – Thursday 10-5pm.

Now the bad news. As many of you are aware, my tea business and The Last Resort are fully integrated to the point that one cannot exist without the other. For years now, the County of Marin has been pressing to dismantle my many unique innovations, art, architecture and other features of The Last Resort. In 2015, a Receiver was appointed, charged with “rehabilitating” the property so that it is code-compliant. Despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal proceedings trying to resolve these issues with the County, my travails continue. The irony is that Marin County is now trying to destroy a site that its own Architectural Commission unanimously voted a “designation of architectural significance for the site in its totality, including all 36 structures, to preserve its intrinsic artistic value as a site of local importance to the history and culture of unincorporated Marin County.”

On May 21, 2021, the Receiver obtained a court order instructing him to “take full and sole physical possession” of The Last Resort, “secure sale” of the property, and order me to “vacate”. I filed an appeal but on October 19, 2022, the appeal was dismissed on the ground that this order cannot be appealed.

Most recently, I received a letter written by the Receiver, Eric Beatty, saying that he is moving forward with his plans to sell the property.  His plan will ultimately lead to demolition of The Last Resort and to its replacement with expensive homes. The Receiver’s letter states:

“The time has come for me to carry out the instructions order. To that end, this serves to inform Mr. Hoffman that I will be taking full and sole possession of the properties on December 2, 2022. It is imperative that Mr. Hoffman use the next month to make arrangements to vacate the properties, to cause all other persons to vacate the properties and remove all items of personal property he wishes to retain from the properties if he has not already done so.”

To the point, I am in very deep doo-doo. Although we believe the “vacate” date will be shifted to the end of December, there is still imminent risk that we are fast approaching the proverbial “game over” just three months shy of having lived 50 years on the property, where my vision and model of sustainability is in its final stage of completion.

We are in a crucial period. It is essential that we raise as much money as possible to demonstrate to the County that a preservation-based plan is financially feasible. For all you tea drinkers who rely on The Phoenix Collection, this may be the last chance to keep the tea business alive and protect the extensive collection of rare teas stored in tea caves at The Last Resort. To the many who have already donated, thank you. To everyone, please consider making a donation at this critical time. Take a few minutes and look at the GoFundMe Campaign:

The money from this campaign goes directly into a special account in support of preservation of The Last Resort. A tax-deductible alternative is also available.  A modest portion of the funds raised has been allocated to document the artistic, architectural, environmental, cultural and historic aspects of The Last Report in hopes of gaining recognition as a National or California landmark. The remainder is sequestered to be used for preservation of The Last Resort.

If we are able to raise significant funds through donations (and tea sales), my legal team believes that we will be able to extend the “vacate” deadline and work with the County and the Receiver to develop a preservation-based plan.

The tea business will continue as usual as long as I am able to remain on the property. Credit cards will not be charged until tea is actually shipped. The Tea Museum will continue to be open on Saturday mornings, 10am-2pm.

With heart-felt thanks for your support,

I remain,


David Lee Hoffman, CDO

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