Intrawest Foreclosure and Whistler Bike Park future- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Intrawest Foreclosure and Whistler Bike Park future

    Be interesting to see what the fallout might be of the potential foreclosure on Intrawest's loan for Whistler since the bike park is part of the Intrawest property. It's pretty obvious Lehman Brothers and the creditors are using the imminent Olympics to leverage VANOC and the Canadian government to pay up a chunk of cash to keep the mountain open for the Olympics, but after the Olympics who knows what might happen. If they sell off the assets it might go to some company that doesn't get the income potential of the bike park, or is only after the real estate and doesn't care about running a multi-season resort.
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    How do you lose Money selling tickets for $100 to land you didn't have to pay for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    How do you lose Money selling tickets for $100 to land you didn't have to pay for?

    Oh that is really easy to do!

    Sorry but this really isn't news Intrawest as been in trouble for quite a while, Lake Louise got sold back to Charlie Locke etc....

    Life will go on, people will go up and down.

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    Here in CO, Intrawest just sold Copper Mountain to Powdr corp which owns park city and a bunch of others. I don't know how that will effect my season ticket, which currently is good for Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and Seamboat.

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    You do realize that Lehmann Bros ceased to exist almost 18 months ago??

  6. #6
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    Intrawest's owner, Fortress Investment Group, is facing the prospect of losing control of its flagship resorts after it failed to make a $524-million (U.S.) payment that was due on its debt. 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 Games are scheduled for Feb. 12 and the closing ceremony is set for Feb. 28.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    Intrawest's owner, Fortress Investment Group, is facing the prospect of losing control of its flagship resorts after it failed to make a $524-million (U.S.) payment that was due on its debt. 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 Games are scheduled for Feb. 12 and the closing ceremony is set for Feb. 28.

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    The bankrupt Estate of Lehmann Brothers ........

    I know this stuff far better than you can imagine.

    Trust me, Lehmann Bros does not exist nay more except in name to wrap up some outstanding litigation.

  8. #8
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    If in fact it was trouble for Whizzer, am pretty certain the Canadian Government / Vancouver local government would step in......

    Well glad have been there a few times from New Zealand......
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  9. #9
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    http://www.lehman.com/ the fact that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. would also explain why the push is on for the receivers to recover money from any source they might as fast as they can.

    If VANOC end up having the Whistler ski hill locked off during the Olympics it likely won't be much worse than having Cypress have no snow for the snowboard events, they're starting to build the hay and wood support structure to support the stored snow for the snowboard course. And of course Whistler is just as likely to be fogbound or buried in a blizzard as often happens when they have other ski races there.

    Whistler pioneered the bike park, a new owner or majority shareholder might not be as interested in providing the resources to maintain it at the level it has enjoyed, or they might be a winter sports only mentality. If Intrawest is flushed out of the picture it will likely have some impact on the bike park industry since a lot of the other ski hill operators watch Intrawest for trends. The fact that Intrawest spread themselves thin developing vacation homes in a bunch of destination resorts won't necessarily be recognized as the cause of their money trouble, it may be seen as bike parks not being a good investment.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    http://www.lehman.com/ the fact that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. would also explain why the push is on for the receivers to recover money from any source they might as fast as they can.

    If VANOC end up having the Whistler ski hill locked off during the Olympics it likely won't be much worse than having Cypress have no snow for the snowboard events, they're starting to build the hay and wood support structure to support the stored snow for the snowboard course. And of course Whistler is just as likely to be fogbound or buried in a blizzard as often happens when they have other ski races there.

    Whistler pioneered the bike park, a new owner or majority shareholder might not be as interested in providing the resources to maintain it at the level it has enjoyed, or they might be a winter sports only mentality. If Intrawest is flushed out of the picture it will likely have some impact on the bike park industry since a lot of the other ski hill operators watch Intrawest for trends. The fact that Intrawest spread themselves thin developing vacation homes in a bunch of destination resorts won't necessarily be recognized as the cause of their money trouble, it may be seen as bike parks not being a good investment.
    First off - No one is going to buy Whistler Mountain in the middle of the Olympics and "lock it up", purchasers want a return on their investment. That is not the way to get it.

    second - the auction being held is for the paper. The actual loan docments which will allow the holder to take title should they wish. News organizations do an incredibly crappy job of reporting this stuff, because they might have to understand it otherwise.

    Let's say the auction happens on - for the sake of arguement - Feb 1, 2010.

    Title will not pass on Feb 1, as there will be documentation and closing requirements - doubtful that closing could happen within even 30 days of the auction.

    The Olympics will be over by then.

    As to the Bike Park - It is part of the resort. Intrawest are not and never were interested in our happy feelings - they built the bike park because they expected it to generate a positive ROI. It has been kept open because it did generate a positive ROI.

    As far as new owners are concerned - if the bike park generates a positive ROI and there are no alternate plans for that piece of dirt that would generate more money - then the bike park will stay.

  11. #11
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    i sure hope the bike park stays running with new owners...I visited whistler in 08 and enjoyed everything from my stay, food, beer and of course the riding and the people.
    How's that dirt taste?

  12. #12
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    I would think the biggest risk is the assets end up divided between a vulture capital company that is after the Intrawest residential assets (and doesn't care about the resort operation), and an under capitalized resort operations company that can't afford to maintain the ski hill/bike park at the current level of operation.

    A lot of narrow corporate opportunist viewpoints won't associate the real estate values with the success of the resort, or they'll hope to make the profits off the residential before the resort operation affects the values. If the resort operation fails to impress customers, then the hotel and Village revenues drop and the real estate values drop, and the resort income drops because the experience quality drops.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Oh that is really easy to do!

    Sorry but this really isn't news Intrawest as been in trouble for quite a while, Lake Louise got sold back to Charlie Locke etc....

    Life will go on, people will go up and down.
    Resort of the Canadian Rockies owns Fortress, Lake Louise, Fernie ect ect. Charlie Locke owned that and when he got into trouble Murray Toft invested in and took controlling interest. But in that deal there was a clause to Charlie to buy back Lake Louise as this was his first resort. He obviously did well with his oil company and exercised that option.

    So that has nothing to do with Intrawest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AscentCanada
    Resort of the Canadian Rockies owns Fortress, Lake Louise, Fernie ect ect. Charlie Locke owned that and when he got into trouble Murray Toft invested in and took controlling interest. But in that deal there was a clause to Charlie to buy back Lake Louise as this was his first resort. He obviously did well with his oil company and exercised that option.

    So that has nothing to do with Intrawest.
    Fortress?

    last I heard of that place was another lawsuit from the operator trying to raise money by selling lift tickets for a resort that was not going to open.

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    I thought the lawsuit was around the Provincial Government approving his building permit to repair the road. But then denying his building permit to repair the lodge and bring it back up to health code standards to operate. He sold season tickets assuming he'd get the building permits and repair the water lines that froze and broketo the bathrooms and kitchen.

  16. #16
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    Apparently Intrawest/Fortress sold off Panorama today to a local group of investors in the Invermere area. No amount disclosed but likely a small fraction of the $1B they needed.
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  17. #17
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    Biggest issue is not the bike/ski operations, it is real estate -- the source of 2/3 of their profits in 2006. Lower demand for condos seems to be killing them more than anything else.

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  18. #18
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    Murray Edwards owns RCR, part of the Calgary Flames and a chunk of CNRL, among other things. He sold his interest in Lake Louise to Charlie Locke because the ROI wasn't going to be there in the future - you can't build condos on a protected slope in a National Park. Fortress was owned by Charlie, then got picked up by Murray in the whole RCR deal. RCR sold it a few years back, and some dudes put some porta-potties up there and started selling season's passes. It was a **** operation and got shut down. There was a movie being filmed up there. I was at a Boxing Day party, and one of the extras showed me the sneaky cellphone pics he took - looked sweet, in a low-budget way.

    Here's the cool part. There is some scuttlebutt floating around that hinted at trail being built for summer use. The bridge was fixed to let the movie crew in, so that also means you can get excavators in. Snowballs chance? For sure. Dare to dream...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    There was a movie being filmed up there. I was at a Boxing Day party, and one of the extras showed me the sneaky cellphone pics he took - looked sweet, in a low-budget way.
    Was that the movie Leonardo Dicaprio was up here shooting in K. Country before Christmas? I have a hard time believing anything he would be involved in would be low budget.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    How do you lose Money selling tickets for $100 to land you didn't have to pay for?
    Intrawest wasn't losing money with Whistler/Blackcomb. It's their biggest money maker. What happened is that Fortress paid top dollar to buy Intrawest when times were good, based on the future development value of the land assets of its various resorts. Fortress now owes huge interest payments on the financing it used to buy Intrawest, but the resort real estate market tanked with the world financial crises.... so, paltry development revenues mean no way to pay the bank interest, which means Fortress needs to either unload Intrawest, or some of its resorts, or continue to bleed (and possibly bleed-out).

    The same thing happened with Three Sisters Mountain Village in Canmore. The future land assets were purchased by Morgan Stanley prior to the crash. Over $100 million of the purchase price was financed with a loan through the HSBC bank. When the crash happened Morgan Stanley decided to simply default on the loan and walk away to fight their bigger battles elsewhere. The project itself was not in trouble in the least but the new owner was, and when they made the decision to walk away from the loan the bank stepped in and put the project into receivership. The reality is that it makes no difference to the operations or sales of the project (construction is still ongoing and sales are good, considering the crash in worldwide resort sales). If Whistler ever went into receivership, the receiver would continue to operate it until a new owner was found.
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  21. #21
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    Fortress Said to Get Intrawest Reprieve as Restructuring Sought
    February 26, 2010, 12:52 AM EST

    By Cristina Alesci

    Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Fortress Investment Group LLC, whose Intrawest ULC owns Olympic ski venue Whistler Blackcomb, won a second auction delay as the resort operator tried to rework its debt with creditors, said a person with knowledge of the talks.

    Lenders, who have sought control of Intrawest since December, agreed to push today’s scheduled sale of company assets to March 1, said the person, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private. The move avoids an auction during the Olympic Games of the resort where Lindsey Vonn won the downhill gold medal.

    Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is among creditors seeking control of Intrawest since it missed a final payment on a $1.4 billion loan due Dec. 23. The Vancouver-based company has struggled under a debt load even after layoffs and other expense cuts. The lenders’ administrative agent originally set Feb. 19 for the auction, which would have included stakes in Mont Tremblant in Quebec and Vermont’s Stratton Mountain, before granting a one-week reprieve.

    Lilly Donohue, a spokeswoman for New York-based Fortress, declined to comment.

    Intrawest, founded in 1976, runs ski and golf resorts in Canada and the U.S. It sells vacation timeshares through its Club Intrawest unit and owns Canadian Mountain Holidays, the world’s largest heli-skiing operation, according to its Web site. Heli-skiing runs are reached via helicopters rather than ski lifts.

    Fortress, which is negotiating with lenders on behalf of Intrawest, agreed to buy the company in August 2006. Investors in the firm’s Fund IV, Fund IV Co and FICO funds saw their collective $1.7 billion equity stake shrink to 4 cents on the dollar as of Oct. 31.

    Two of the funds kicked in an additional $345 million in October 2008 to keep lenders at bay and infuse cash into the company, according to a June 2009 investor update from Fortress.

    --Editors: Josh Friedman, Larry Edelman

    To contact the reporter on this story: Cristina Alesci in New York at [email protected].

    To contact the editor responsible for this story Christian Baumgaertel at [email protected]
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