Ginn gives up Battle Mountain project near Minturn |

Ginn gives up Battle Mountain project near Minturn

Scott N. Miller
the vail daily
Gilman was one of the proposed sites for housing units for the Ginn project

MINTURN, Colorado – Don’t call it Ginnturn any more.

Florida-based developer Bobby Ginn has given up his stake in a proposed private ski resort at Battle Mountain. Crave Real Estate Ventures will take over the project. Crave is part-owned by Lubert Adler, the Philadelphia-based private investment company that financed the Battle Mountain project.

In a letter to Minturn town officials, Crave representative Dave Kleinkopf wrote that he’ll take over day-to-day operations at the project. Kleinkopf has been working at the project’s Minturn offices for the last several months as a consultant.

“While there may be some challenges on the horizon, Crave Real Estate and this project’s financial partners are 100 percent committed to this project and its long-term viability,” Kleinkopf wrote.

The letter lauded Ginn’s commitment to the project. “However, given the current state of the real estate industry and general economy, recently, (Ginn) has shifted his focus to areas in his company that need immediate attention,” Kleinkopf wrote.

Kleinkopf has spent nearly 30 years in the mountan resort industry. As a former executive vice president with the real estate division of Intrawest, he’s been involved in development projects including the base areas at Snowmass Village and Winter Park.

He joined Crave in February of this year specifically to take on the Battle Mountain project.

“I think this is the greatest piece of ski area and resort real estate in North America,” he said. “This may be the last truly great property left.”

While a new company has taken over the Battle Mountain project, it’s going to be a while before construction starts.

The national economy has to turn around, of course. And there’s the matter of securing water rights for the project. That’s the subject of a dispute in state water court between Battle Mountain and consortium of water users including the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District. That case won’t be heard until January of 2011.

Until then, Kleinkopf said, work will continue to secure the town and federal permits required to begin construction. While continuing that work, Kleinkopf said the annexation agreement between Battle Mountain and the town of Minturn will remain in effect. Any changes to that agreement will have to be approved by the Minturn Town Council, he said.

That work will be done with a smaller staff. While the project’s Minturn office will stay open, there will only be two full-time people working there. Kleinkopf, who lives in Denver and has a home in Eagle-Vail, said he’ll be up two or three days a week. Former project manager Bill Weber has retired, but will continue as a consultant. Former community relations person Cliff Thompson will also be a consultant for the new team.

This story will be updated this afternoon

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