Eagle County cuts $3.2M from airport debt | VailDaily.com

Eagle County cuts $3.2M from airport debt

EAGLE, Colorado – The county commissioners will save $3.2 million by refinancing debt on the airport terminal, a bond consultant says.

The Eagle County commissioners voted Tuesday to refinance $11 million in bonds on the Eagle County Regional Airport commercial terminal.

“This is a good time to do it. Interest rates are low and the county’s credit rating is high,” says Dan O’Connell, with RBC Capital Markets.

The refinancing consolidates two sets of bond money the county borrowed for the terminal.

Their first set of bonds was issued in 1996 to build the commercial terminal. Another set followed in 2001 to expand it, said Bryan Treu, Eagle County’s attorney.

The deal to refinance the remaining $11 million debt closes June 28, O’Connell said.

“They got a great rate, which is a very big deal, especially for a small non-hub airport,” O’Connell said. “They’re getting the same rate as Grand Junction’s Walker Field.”

For this deal:

• The airport is carrying two sets of tax exempt bonds on the airport. The interest rate on the first set will fall from 7.1 percent to 5.72 percent. The interest rate on the second will fall from 9.5 percent to 4.3 percent.

• The annual payment through 2015 drops from $1.33 million to $1.27 million.

• The balloon payment dues in 2016 drops from $1,933,269 to $1,287,687, a savings of more than $645,000 in that year alone.

• Refinancing shortens the life of the debt by three years, from 2030 to 2027.

• It saves $3,262,475.

RBC Capital Markets is an investment bank that provides financial products and services, like bonds, to governments, institutions, corporations and high net worth clients in 15 countries around the world. RBC has been around since 1869 and has more than $770 billion in assets, making it the sixth largest bank in North America.

The Eagle County airport is Colorado’s third busiest during the ski season.

Industry experts say that around 20 percent of all Aspen’s skier days come through the Eagle County airport.

Locally, about half of all destination skiers arrive through the local airport.

The winter 2009-10 season had 13 nonstop flights from 12 major U.S. cities. Last winter saw 11 nonstop flights from 10 major U.S. cities.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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