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ESTES PARK, CO-Winston Hotels Inc., a real estate investment trust based in Raleigh, NC, formed a joint venture to acquire the historic, 141-room Stanley Hotel in this mountain community. Winston contributed $3 million of the $5 million in equity investment in the joint venture with Grand Heritage Hotels, the current owner and operator of the hotel. Simultaneously, the joint venture closed on a $13-million first mortgage provided by Credit Suisse First Boston to finance the acquisition. Grand Heritage will continue to operate the hotel.

Grand Heritage is a “highly regarded hotel owner and operator,” says Joe Green, president and CFO of Winston Hotels. “This is a very unique historic property in an irreplaceable location at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, approximately one hour from Denver.” Estes Park is about 70 miles north of Denver.

“We believe the hotel’s setting, excellent physical condition and history present a significant upside potential,” adds John Cullen, president of Grand Heritage. He says Winston’s investment will allow them to “take the hotel to the next level of quality.”

The hotel was built in 1909. It has undergone significant upgrades during the past two years. Its 141 rooms, eight meeting and banquet rooms total 17,800 sf. It also includes a restaurant and a heated outdoor pool. Winston Hotel currently owns or is invested in 50 hotels with a total of 7,024 rooms in 16 states. They include 42 wholly owned properties with 5,963 rooms. It has a 60% ownership interest in the Stanley. Horror writer Stephen King stayed at the historic Stanley Park in 1973, inspiring his classic “The Shining,” four years later.

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