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DENVER-The city and Intrawest Corp. have closed the agreement that gives Vancouver-based ski resort operator control of Winter Park. Under the deal, Denver will receive a one-time $3 million payment, followed by annual payments of $2 million for the next 10 years.

Beginning in 2012, the city will get $2 million plus 3% of gross revenues above $33 million.

Intrawest also must spend at least $50 million over the next 10 years to improve the ski resort, including plans to spend $8 million during the first two years to upgrade lifts and other equipment.

“This is the beginning of a very exciting new chapter for the resort,” says Gary DeFrange, vice president and general manager of Winter Park. Intrawest chief executive Gary Raymond calls it a “winning arrangement for all involved.”

The agreement allows Intrawest to develop 140 acres of Denver-owned property at the base of the mountain. Intrawest operates 10 other resorts, including Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Competitor Vail Resorts, however, is suing Intrawest over the agreement, alleging Intrawest is violating a non-compete agreement the two signed eight years ago when they partnered to develop Keystone.

The city of Denver originally considered proposals from six companies but began negotiating solely with Intrawest about a year ago. Intrawest says a transition team will join Winter Park’s staff next year.

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