Resorts of the Canadian Rockies rescued by Albertan oilman 

Resorts of the Canadian Rockies has been rescued from its creditors by a Calgary-based oilman.

According to a report in the National Post , oil-industry financier Murray Edwards, worth an estimated $500 million, has signed an agreement with RCR to provide "significant financial support" through equity and loans.

The company, which consists of eight ski resorts in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, has been under court protection from its creditors since March.

Owned by the esoteric Charlie Locke, a former mountain guide, rancher and stockbroker, RCR filed for creditor protection last spring after the combination of a poor ski season and the withdrawal of a major U.S. lender led to a cash crunch.

RCR owes creditors $148 million and has assets worth $160 million. Locke had been negotiating to sell off certain resorts.

The deal between Edwards and Locke will rescue the company from liquidation and allow it to stay intact.

Locke, who started building his ski-resort empire in 1974 after buying into the Lake Louise ski area, rapidly expanded his company over the past four years acquiring Fernie and Kimberley in B.C. as well as Mont-Sainte Anne and Stoneham in Quebec.

RCR, which is North America’s largest ski resort operator and sees more than two-million annual skier visits, also owns Nakiska, Fortress and Wintergreen in Alberta.

RCR’s problems were a ripe opportunity for Edwards.

The securities lawyer scooped up many of his current holdings when they were experiencing financial problems and then turned them around with an injection of capital.

According to the Post , he may be interested in the resorts, which also include golf courses, hotels and condo complexes, for their real-estate development potential.

Interestingly enough, RCR’s saviour is a prominent federal Liberal.

Locke has repeatedly locked horns with the federal government over development of the Lake Louise ski area, which sits in Banff National Park.

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