HGTV Dream Home in Winter Park fetches a cool $2 million |

HGTV Dream Home in Winter Park fetches a cool $2 million

by Stephanie Miller
Sky-Hi Daily News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

The Home and Garden Television 2007 Dream Home at Bridger’s Cache was sold Monday to two surgeons and their families from Denver for about $2 million.

The 2007 Dream Home winner, Robert O’Neill Sr., put the house up for sale shortly after winning the home. O’Neill is a past winner of the Florida state lottery, and he entered the dream home sweepstakes only nine times to win. A retired postmaster from Tennessee, he decided not to push his luck learning how to ski, but flew out for the closing this week to bid his winnings adieu.

The home helped draw national attention to Winter Park during HGTV’s annual sweepstakes, and attracted more than 30 million contestants. When it was put up for sale by the winner, interested buyers turned up from all over the country, said Dennis Saffell, owner and broker of Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties.

“We had a lot of people looking at it … for its fame of being an HGTV home. And it ended up selling to someone who had no idea it was an HGTV home,” Saffell said, and laughed. “They bought it because they liked it.”

The two buyers ” surgeons who own a practice on the Front Range ” are avid skiers who plan to use the home often, Saffell added. Although it will be a second home, he doesn’t expect it to stand empty like so many second homes in Grand County.

The HGTV brouhaha has been quite a ride for Saffell, who also owns New Frontier Construction Development, the company that built the home about a year ago. Saffell then sold the home to HGTV, and again to its current owners. It was the biggest home sale for Saffell.

“So the home is less than a year old and I sold it twice. That’s been a good one for me,” he admitted.

The sale of the dream home included $200,000 worth of furniture, a $1,500 dog house (both families have a dog), and membership to a $3 million private club with a two-lane bowling alley.

“It was great for the community in terms of exposure, and publicity. It brought a lot of tax dollars to town,” Saffell said.

The process, however, wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. HGTV is a marketing dream for sponsors, who incorporate furniture, fixtures and appliances throughout its decor.

After New Frontier finished building the home, sponsors would drive up to the doorstep and ask to replace certain items.

“We had these beautiful solid, custom-made doors installed in the house, and a truck pulled up one day with a whole bunch of new doors. It’s the sponsors who are paying for it ” so they told us to rip out the old doors. They did that with windows, carpet … We basically built the home twice.”

But it worked, Saffell added. And the home will stay on the HGTV Web site, which receives more than a million hits every day.

“So Winter Park will be getting hits and exposure for decades.”

– To reach Stephanie Miller, call (970) 887-3334, ext. 19601 or e-mail

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