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EDWARDS, CO-The Pharos Group LLC, based in Park City, Utah, in a joint venture with the VEF Group of Lend Lease Real Estate Investments Inc., purchased the 56-room Lodge and Spa and Cordillera in this town west of Vail. Though the purchase price was not disclosed, Pharos plans for a $5-million renovation of the property.

Lauded by national publications as a premiere vacation spot, what really put the lodge on the map was Kobe Bryant. Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, is facing felony sexual assault charge for the attempted rape of a 19-year-old lodge employee last June. But a spokeswoman for the Fandango Resorts, an affiliate of Pharos, says the Bryant incident played no role whatsoever in the purchase.

Pharos is an investment company specializing in acquisitions and development of four and five-star resort hotel properties. Financial advisor to Pharos for the acquisition of the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera was Silver Portal Capital, LLC of La Jolla, California.

Pharos Group, in conjunction with Fandango, will conduct the $5-million renovation and upgrade of the Lodge and Spa. Renovation work will begin in the spring, with significant upgrades planned for all guestrooms as well as the spa, restaurant and other guest amenities.

An expansion of 19 three-bedroom lodge residences is planned for 2005. These luxury residences, with full hotel services and amenities, will be offered for sale in fractional ownership intervals.

The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera is located in the heart of Cordillera, an exclusive gated community located in the Colorado Rockies. In addition to the 56-room lodge, the Spa at Cordillera, four golf courses, and a selection of four private home communities, amenities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking on 17 miles of maintained trails.

It’s difficult to determine whether Bryant’s alleged rape would make the property worth more or less, according to Michael Cahill, president of Denver-based Hospitality Real Estate Counselors Inc., which was not involved in the deal. But since Bryant has drawn so much international attention to the lodge, it might not hurt it, although he adds its interesting the owner would be selling it in the midst of all of the attention.

Another interesting thing about the lodge is that it actually is more of a summer resort than a winter resort, he notes. While there is world-class skiing in nearby Beaver Creek and Vail, it is not on a ski slope. But it is surrounded by first-class golf courses, Cahill notes.

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