Big news today, though not much of a surprise: Banks have seized Intrawest Holdings, according to The Globe and Mail. Last month Fortress Investment Group failed to make the final payment on a $1.4 billion loan originally due in October.
The bigger news, and bigger suprise: Lenders are planning to auction off the Intrawest resort properties on February 19, smack in the middle of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, according to a report at Bloomberg.com. Whistler Blackcomb, an Intrawest resort, is an alpine skiing venue for the Olympics, which run February 12-28. (The freestyle ski and snowboard events will be held at Cypress Mountain, operated by Boyne Resorts, but they've got problems of their own there: No snow.)
Locally Intrawest owns Steamboat and operates Winter Park in a joint operating deal with the City of Denver. The company made arrangements to sell Copper Mountain to Powdr Corp in November (the terms of that deal have not been announced).
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Intrawest operates ten resorts in North America: Blue Mountain, Mountain Creek, Panorama, Sandestin, Snowhow, Steamboat, Stratton, Tremblant, Winter Park, and Whistler Blackcomb.