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DENVER-The four groups that didn’t make the cut for a joint venture with Denver on its Winter Park ski area offered a variety of ways to turn the resort into a year-around, destination area. The four bidders who didn’t make the cut are Grand Elk Partnership, headed by ski veteran Jerry Jones from Granby, just down the road from Winter Park; Utah-based Powdr Corp.; Okemo of Vermont; and Hines Resorts, whose parent is based in Houston and is one of the country’s largest developers.

Hines also developed the recently completed Zephyr condominium project at the base of Winter Park.

Jones’ plan, aided by Legg Mason Real Estate Services, would immediately give the city $10 million for a master plan development;research and engineering; and sales and marketing.

From 2003 to 2004, it would increase skier days to 1.3 million, partly by launching a “Grand Pass” that would incorporate the nearby Berthoud Pass and SolVista ski mountains.

His group also would build a base village with a 600-room, full-service hotel. It would also build a conference center, a ski school and commercial space. From 2004 to 2010, it would design and build 1,100 to 1,500 condos. After that, it would plan, design and build on the Mary Jane ski mountain at Winter Park.

Okemo would initially commit a minimum amount of $10 million to $15 million in the project. The amount would come form Okemo and not from Winter Park cash flow.

“We would expect out total investment over the first 10 years would be multiples (of $10 million to $15 milion),” Okemo says in its package.

Hines offers two scenarios in its losing bid.

One is for the city to act as a lessor and as a land seller. The city would receive an initial payment under the scenario.

“The magnitude of the initial payment would have an inverse relationship with the magnitude of profit sharing the city would enjoyfrom operational and development cash flows,” Hines says.

Advantages, Hines says, would be that at the end of the lease, the city would be the owner and the city is removed from any ownership association with the resort for a period of time.

The disadvantages, Hines says, are: the structure is somewhat complicated; it fails to perfectly align the interests of Hines and thecity; and the cost of financing will be higher than its other proposal.

Hines alternative proposal it to make the city a shareholder in a new company created to own Winter Park. The legal entity that owned it could be a corporation, limited liability company or something else, after examining tax laws and laws of Colorado, Hines says.

Powdr would raze the Balcony House and administration building and replace it with a new fractional ownership hotel of 100 to 150 rooms. The hotel would be affiliated with a national chain and be called the Balcony House Hotel.

Powdr also would enhance the experience of the Ski Train, which already travels from Denver to Winter Park. Powdr would build a European-style train station that would include food and beverage, retail kiosks and a turn-of-the-century depot.

Powdr also reveals it entered into an exclusive arrangement with Denver-based Kroenke Sports Enterprises. Stan Kroenke, owner of thePepsi Center and the teams that play there — the Denver Nuggets and the Stanley Cup winning Colorado Avalanche, heads SKE.

Powdr says it appears Winter Park lost between $7 and $8 million one summer, which is more than the operating losses at all of its resorts.

KSE would provide concerts, art and crafts shows, wine and cheese festivals, farmer’s markets, classic car conventions and motor sports events to make Winter Park more of a year-round resort and jazz up its summer appeal.

KSE would also use players from its Denver professional sports teams to promote events at Winter Park.

Meanwhile, the two finalists, East West Partners and Intrawest Corp., have until Nov. 9 to provide the city with detailed proposals. The city hopes to pick a winner by mid-December.

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