The Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority stepped up with a plan to buy the haunted hotel after a deal to sell the Stanley to an Arizona nonprofit fell through, said CECFA Executive Director Mark Heller.

Heller said the authority hopes to wrap up the sale in the coming months, securing the government agency as the owner of the hotel and borrower of the bonds that will help finance 60 new rooms, a fresh restaurant and the construction of the Stanley Film Center.

Instead of selling the hotel to Arizona’s Community Finance Corporation and taking ownership after the nonprofit paid back the bonds, CECFA will create a subsidiary and become the borrower of the bonds directly instead. The new plan simply removes the middleman.

If the new plan pans out, the state department will own the Stanley once it pays back the bonds needed to refurbish the property — still expected to top $400 million.

“The benefit here is that we’ll have a Colorado entity owning the property, and CEFCA will have a small and increasing share of the profit to support our ongoing mission to help fund the state’s educational and cultural facilities,” Heller said.

The solution is unusual — for both Colorado and CECFA.

Of the hundreds of organizations CECFA has helped secure $7.6 billion in bonds for since 1981, the Colorado agency has yet to own any of the facilities it’s worked with.

But, according to Heller, it would be a natural fit to own the Stanley, since CECFA is already a partner in the proposed Stanley Film Center.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission designated the Stanley Film Center a Regional Tourism Act project in 2015, which qualified the project for more than $46 million in state sales tax incentives over 30 years.

In January, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media announced that mega-producer Jason Blum and his company (Blumhouse) will be the sole curator of the Stanley Film Center’s exhibition space, set to open in 2026.

Blumhouse has produced multiple high-profile horror films including “Get Out,” “The Purge,” “Halloween,” “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and “Paranormal Activity.”

“The vision for the film center has incredible potential to attract new, out-of-state visitors to Estes Park and Colorado, and strengthen CECFA’s ability to support educational and cultural facilities across the state,” Heller said.

But before CECFA can officially take control, it needs the state legislature to expand its role and operational capabilities, Heller said.

The Colorado legislature will adjourn its 2024 session next month.

“The current statute allows us to own property, but it then requires us to lease the property to an intermediate entity to contract for management,” Heller said. “We’re hopeful we can get legislation passed that would allow us to take on that role directly.”

The proposed legislation would allow Heller and his team to take on a wider range of community revitalization projects, he said.

“That’s a win for the Colorado communities,” Heller said.

CECFA’s next steps are to finalize the sale documents, seek changes to the legislative statute and start marketing the bonds to potential investors, Heller said.

Representatives of the Stanley Hotel and Community Finance Corporation could not be reached for comment.

By LAUREN PENINGTON