Bonds

Colorado bill for bond-financed hotel purchase advances

Legislation that would pave the way for a Colorado bond authority to issue debt for its purchase of a hotel that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining cleared a state Senate committee this week ahead of the May 8 end of the legislative session. 

The Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority (CECFA) is pursuing buying the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, if state law is changed to allow it to operate and manage facilities it finances through the issuance of bonds. 

A bond-financed purchase of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, which served as an inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining, is being pursued by the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority.

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The plan emerged in March after an Arizona nonprofit pulled out of a deal to finance the property’s purchase and renovation, with up to $475 million of cultural facilities revenue bonds issued through CECFA. 

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday approved an amendment to House Bill 1295, which would give the authority the ability to operate facilities directly or indirectly through management contracts.

Mark Heller, CECFA’s executive director, told the committee that without the change, the authority would not be able to move forward with a plan to acquire the hotel.

“Under current law, CECFA can own and lease property that we finance, we cannot operate such property and we cannot sufficiently manage such property,” he said. “These amendments resolve the issues by allowing us to directly contract for the operation of property that we finance through our bonds and to create subsidiaries to insulate CECFA from those projects.”

Heller has said the authority plans to create a nonprofit subsidiary that would hire the hotel’s current owner, Grand Heritage Hotel Group, to operate and manage the facility. He assured the committee that bonds issued by CECFA are paid off solely with a project’s revenue. 

The bill, which was introduced in February, passed the House last week and now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee. It only has until the May 8 end of the legislative session to clear the full Senate and return to the House for a vote on its amended version.

The amendment also adds hotels, a film center, gift shops, and eating and drinking establishments to the definition of facilities. 

Grand Heritage Hotel Group’s plans for the hotel include the Stanley Film Center, which it says “will be the permanent home for film, fun and the horror genre.”

Timberline Lodge in Oregon stood in for the exterior of The Shining’s Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 movie version, which was mostly filmed in England. A subsequent television mini-series based on the book used the Stanley Hotel, which is located just outside Rocky Mountain National Park, as a filming location. 

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