Bonds

Colorado bond authority eyes purchase of hotel that inspired The Shining

A Colorado bonding authority is taking a step toward purchasing a hotel tied to author Stephen King’s The Shining after an Arizona nonprofit dropped its bond-financed plan to buy and renovate the property. 

The Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority (CECFA), which would have been the conduit issuer for up to $475 million of cultural facilities revenue bonds under the plan, received approval from its board on Wednesday to pursue legislation related to its potential acquisition of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park through a yet-to-be-created nonprofit subsidiary. 

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 CECFA statute currently allows CECFA to own cultural or educational property, but not to operate such property or to directly hire a manager/operator,” Mark Heller, the agency’s executive director said in an email. “The major goal of the legislation is to change this so that CECFA, through its subsidiary, can directly hire an operator/manager, which will be (Grand Heritage Hotel Group).” 

That group currently owns the hotel, which dates back to 1909 and served as an inspiration for King’s book The Shining, according to the hotel’s website. Heller said CECFA stepped in as purchaser at the hotel group’s request after Tucson-based Community Finance Corp. pulled out March 17.

“Having CECFA own the property simplifies the project’s structure and presents a unified, all-Colorado team to investors,” Heller said, adding that work on the sizing and structure of a bond issue to finance the purchase was continuing. 

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. 

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.”

The at least 67,000 square-foot film center building is estimated to cost more than $70 million to complete and furnish, with the state of Colorado contributing $46 million. 

In January, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced multimedia company Blumhouse, the producer of horror films, including Get Out, will curate the film center’s exhibition space.  

“The Stanley Hotel is hallowed ground for horror fans and that makes this presence at the Stanley Film Center a natural extension for Blumhouse,” its CEO Jason Blum said in a statement.

In November, global arts organization Sundance Institute announced the hotel will host its 2024 Directors Lab.

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