An Arizona company has bowed out of developing a residential area and destination resort on Traverse Ridge near the Point of the Mountain between Salt Lake and Utah counties.

The property is now back in the hands of Franklin Financial, the Utah company that originally sold the 5,000 acres to Estes Homes.Richard A. Christenson, president of Franklin Financial in Salt Lake City, said Estes Homes dropped Traverse Ridge after it suffered "financial reverses" in Arizona. Ownership of all but 400 acres of property reverted to Franklin Financial, Christenson said.

According to documents on file with the Utah County recorder's office, Traverse Associates, a subsidiary of Franklin Financial, obtained ownership of Traverse Ridge last April after Estes Homes failed to pay 1988 and 1989 property taxes and a $200,000 installment payment due in September 1989.

Estes Homes spent about $7 million getting the property annexed into Draper City and developing design plans for the project, Christenson said.

He said another party is now interested in the property.

"Traverse Ridge is still a very viable project," Christenson said. "We've been working on several fronts, and I expect to have some worthwhile news in the next 60 to 90 days."

While Christenson would not disclose who was interested in the property or what they wanted to do with it, he did say development of the property "won't deviate" from the master plan and zoning approval already in place for Traverse Ridge.

Estes Homes planned to build as many as 6,500 homes and a 600-room hotel with an 18-hole golf course on Traverse Ridge. The company also talked about including some commercial development in the project. The hotel originally was targeted to be completed by 1991.