4

Vail Resorts leads bidding for Whistler

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

National Canadian paper The Globe and Mail is reporting today that Broomfield-based Vail Resorts is leading the bidding for Whistler-Blackcomb as current owner Intrawest angles to keep it in hand by restructuring its debt.

"There is a standing offer on Whistler from Vail Resorts, but Intrawest isn't willing to engage, with its own future so unclear," said one executive with ties to the Canadian and U.S. resort owners.

Executives at Intrawest and Fortress could not be reached yesterday. Vail Resorts declined to comment.

While Intrawest's moves look like too little, too late -- the auction for the entire company was set for Friday, but it was just delayed by a week as to avoid the spotlight glare from the Olympics  -- Vail Resorts is apparently not interested in buying all of the company's ski properties, only the crown jewels.

While Intrawest is strangled by a huge debt load, Whistler is profitable to the tune of $100 million a year, so it's clearly an attractive target. Beyond Vail Resorts, The Globe and Mail reports that Nippon Cable, a Japanese lift-maker, is interested in upping its 23 percent minority ownership of Whistler.

But the postponement of the auction clearly gives Intrawest an opening to figure out how to hang on to the standout property of its 10 resorts; Whistler clearly makes the entire company much more valuable at auction. Within the current flurry of stories, there are no news updates on the future of Steamboat and Winter Park, the two remaining Colorado resorts in the Intrawest portfolio.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.