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Breaking News… Is Fortress (Intrawest) In Trouble?

Posted by Sherry Rioux on October 23, 2008

I was having an email chat today with Vancouver real estate Broker, Maggie Chandler.  In one of her emails back to me, she included a clip from a newsletter written by Vancouver Real Estate Guru, Ozzie Jurock that happened to have a little line in it that said, “We also hear of Intrawest being in trouble.”

Huh?  Why had I not heard this?

So a quick search on Google revealed that yes indeed, there is some stress if not big trouble brewing at Fortress who purchased Intrawest two years ago in a multi-billion dollar deal. Fortress owns a number of resorts including our own Village at Blue.

According to an article in todays Globe and Mail Report on Business, Fortress  Investment Group, which is a U.S. based asset management fund, financed their purchase of Intrawest through a lending group that among others, included Lehman Brothers and, well, we all know what happened to them.  It seems that Fortress’ $1.68 BILLION U.S. loan came due today (October 23rd) and they are struggling to refinance that debt.

In another Whistler publication, they naturally put a more positive spin on the situation given that Whistler-Blackcomb is the starlet of the resort group.

So what now?  Will they be able to refinance the debt and if so, will it be on favourable or harsh terms?  Will they go bankrupt (I sure hope not) or will they sell?  Will it be business as usual?  Given the global state of economic affairs, my guess is that’s it’s going to be a long winter for this company.

UPDATE:  The Globe and Mail reports this morning (Oct 24th) that an 11th hour deal was reached to refinance the loan despite the fact that Fortress stocks have dropped over 80% in value over the last year.  Whew.  For now.


When it’s time to buy or sell real estate in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain or Georgian Triangle area, contact Marg, an experienced and competent Broker who’s ready whenever you are!

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