Aurora snaps up water coveted by Ginn Company for private ski resort

A troubled private ski and golf development near the old railroad town of Minturn off the backside of Vail Mountain was dealt another blow late Monday when the Aurora City Council decided to purchase from Pueblo the Columbine Ditch north of Leadville.

Florida-based Ginn Company’s proposed Battle Mountain project, overwhelmingly approved for annexation by Minturn voters last year, planned to buy the water right for its private ski area, golf resort and 1,700 luxury homes high between Minturn and the old mining town of Red Cliff.

Now the resort, in no great hurry to turn dirt because of the moribund mountain real estate market, will have to look elsewhere for water. But there is some question about the viability of the project anyway given the company’s financial woes in Florida, including the bankruptcy of some of its golf resorts, and the spectacular failure of the only other private ski club in the nation, the Yellowstone Club near Big Sky, Mont.

Both Yellowstone and the Ginn Company are burdened by super-risky Credit Suisse loans handed out like candy during the height of the decade-plus mountain real estate boom.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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