Nippon Cable, which holds a 23 per cent interest in Blackcomb, appears poised to acquire a similar 23 per cent interest in Whistler Mountain once the Whistler Mountain-Intrawest merger is approved by regulatory boards.
Intrawest shareholders this week gave their approval to the merger that will bring Whistler Mountain and Colorado’s Copper Mountain under the Intrawest umbrella that already includes Blackcomb, Panorama, Mont Tremblant, Stratton, Snowshoe and one-third of Mammoth Mountain. The deal has still to be approved by regulatory boards in Canada and the United States. The original deadline for approval was March 14. While no one is anticipating the deal will be rejected, the deadline may be extended.
Meanwhile, at Monday’s shareholders meeting it was revealed that Nippon Cable will have a 30-day option to purchase 23 per cent of Whistler Mountain, between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, 1997. The option is to acquire an interest, as a limited partner, in a limited partnership that will be formed to hold the assets and operations of Whistler Mountain.
Nippon Cable, which holds the Asian rights to Doppelmayr lifts, bought 23 per cent of Blackcomb for $25 million in 1992. Blackcomb immediately used the cash for capital improvements, including the Glacier Creek Lodge and the Glacier Express chair.
When the merger with Whistler Mountain was announced in December Intrawest announced it would also be making a $35 million capital investment in Whistler. No announcements have been made yet, but expanded on-mountain restaurant facilities and increased snowmaking are believed to be high priorities.