Intrawest sets 'record' sales performance 

Intrawest Corp. announced last week it recorded $233-million US in real estate sales during the preceding three-month period.

According to a company press release, it is Intrawest’s best-ever sales performance.

"We have continued to have a strong performance in a climate of economic uncertainty," said Intrawest spokesperson Stephen Forgacs. "Intrawest has posted good returns year after year and we will continue to push for strong results."

During the last 90 days, the company put up a total of 720 units for sale. Of those, 70 per cent were sold, with average prices per square foot 11 per cent higher over similar units offered last year.

The sales occurred at seven different Intrawest resorts across North America, including Whistler-Blackcomb, Blue Mountain, Ont., and Tremblant, Que., in Canada and Mammoth, Calif., Squaw Valley, Calif., Mountain Creek, N.J. and Sandestin, Fla., in the U.S.

Forgacs, however, would not disclose how many units were sold at each resort.

"There tends to be a constraint in bed units at resorts that creates a limited supply," he told Pique Newsmagazine . "That, in turn, creates a sense of urgency among buyers."

Intrawest CEO and president Joe Houssain echoed Forgacs’ assessment.

"Indeed, limited supply has created a sense of urgency that is driving our resort real estate sales," he said. "Current economic conditions have not slowed the demand for resort homes from the baby boomers."

According to Intrawest, the company will achieve total pre-sales of $589-million US over the next 24 months.

"The success of these launches gives us confidence in our ability to increase our bed base by approximately 9,000 new units at our resorts during the next two years," said Intrawest CFO Dan Jarvis. "Creation of these new beds is a significant driver of ongoing revenues for resort operations and ancillary businesses."

According to the Financial Post , Intrawest stock rose 50 cents after the announcement.

Intrawest owns 10 mountain resorts – including Whistler-Blackcomb – across North America, and golf and beach resorts in Arizona and Florida.

The company also runs a vacation timeshare business with seven locations including Vancouver, Whistler and Panorama in B.C., as well as California and Hawaii.

The majority of Intrawest’s resorts and real-estate developments are located close to the continent’s major population centres.

Intrawest has significant investments in Alpine Helicopters Ltd., owner of Canadian Mountain Holidays, and Compaigne des Alpes in France, the largest ski company in the world in terms of skier visits.

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