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PARK CITY, UT-A St. Regis-branded luxury hotel-condominium development in this ski resort town is holding its own as it near completion. As of mid-January, six months from opening, the $300-million construction project was almost 65% pre-sold, with investors having signed on to purchase 41 of the 67 luxury condominium units, which are divisible into 181 hotel rooms, and 18 of the 26 private residences that top off the 11-story building.

Moreover, Stan Castleton, CEO of the developer, DDRM LLC, tells GlobeSt.com each buyer has put down a non-refundable, earnest money deposit equal to 20% of the purchase price, “so it’s safe to say the buyers are very committed.” The remainder is due upon closing in August, he says, and he believes nearly all the buyers have the wherewithal to close the transaction.

With the sales to date enough to cover the $212-million construction loan, Castleton quips that he is “able to sleep at night.” The real upside of that sales hurdle is that has been able to be patient with additional sales and not having to give too much on price in the down economy. The current average per-square-foot sales price $2,000, he says. The total construction cost is $300 million. The estimated gross sellout is $320 million.

The development is situated in the exclusive enclave of Deer Crest, a private, gated community of estate and mountain homes in the exclusive Deer Valley area of Park City. The enclave is noted for gourmet food, limiting the number of skiers on the mountain and curbside valets that help you unload your gear.

The goal is to have the facility be the only Mobil five-star property in Utah. Amenities at the property will include ski-in/ski-out access, a 14,000-sf spa and fitness center, a gourmet restaurant, an after ski lounge with ski valet service, a “ski beach” and two resort-style swimming pools. Guests will access the resort from the base area using a funicular railway.

Some of the prominent people who have put down earnest money are Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter, sportscaster Jim Nantz and actor Kevin Sorbo. Typically sales have been dominated by Southern Californians, he says, and they are well represented at this project. “But a large percentage of buyers are form the East Coast, which is a departure from past patterns here in Deer Valley,” says Castleton, who is probably best known for his 20-year ownership of the Anaheim Hilton in Southern California.

DDRM’s equity partners include a joint venture comprised of a Hong Kong national and an East Coast-based development entity funded by pension and entrepreneurial investors. The construction lender is a syndicate of three domestic and international financial institutions arranged by Los Angeles-based Sonnenblick-Eichner Co.

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