Winter Park Resort Management Company, Intrawest, is Foreclosed on by Creditors
WOW! I saw it coming but I didn’t think that it would happen in the middle of a ski season and only weeks before their jewel property, Whistler, was to be host to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Intrawest was taken into receivership today by the banks that funded the purchase of Intrawest by Fortress Investments. Banks have seized Intrawest Holdings, the owner of the Whistler ski resort that’s hosting the Olympic downhill races next month, after the resort operator missed a big debt payment, and now plan to auction the company off right in the middle of the games.
The lenders, which include Lehman Brothers and Davidson Kempner, plan to auction off ownership of Intrawest on Feb. 19, according to a notice published in major newspapers. The first events of the Olympic games are scheduled for Feb. 12 and the closing ceremony is set for Feb. 28.
Well what does this mean for Winter Park Resort? What will be auctioned off at Winter Park Ski Area? Will Winter Park Resort management be changing?
Winter Park Resort is owned by the city of Denver so most likely there will be no changes at Winter Park Resort. Intrawest over two years ago disbanded their resort development team, Placemaking, so they were not going to be doing anymore development at the base in the near future anyway. As for what could be auctioned off I don’t think there is anything to auction other than land and condos that Intrawest already has up for sale.
The foreclosure notice stated: “Each qualified bidder must be a financial institution or other entity that has the financial wherewithal to purchase the membership interests in immediately available funds on the closing date”.
The sale includes more than a dozen resort properties including Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado and Squaw Valley in California.
So, I guess my $5,000 offer and promise to do better than Fortress isn’t going to get me anywhere with an offer for Intrawest.
In addition to Intrawest, buyers will get stakes in four resorts in Colorado, as well as properties in California, Florida and Vermont. But with the Olympic Games only weeks away, the focus is on Whistler.
Intrawest chief executive officer Bill Jensen said that the company is in talks with its lenders, and in the meantime “it’s business as usual.”
I’m thinking business as usual would be very interesting at Intrwest headquarters today!
Anywho, lets get excited about the Winter Park snow forecast of 20′ of snow in the next 6 days!
Chris January 20th, 2010