Banks seize Intrawest in foreclosure, Colorado resorts and Olympic venue to be auctioned off Feb. 19

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).

Intrawest operates ten resorts in North America: Blue Mountain, Mountain Creek, Panorama, Sandestin, Snowhow, Steamboat, Stratton, Tremblant, Winter Park, and Whistler Blackcomb.

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