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Intrawest puts Panorama on the block

Turfs Panorama but moving futher into France

As part of Fortress Investment Group Whistler-Blackcomb’s parent company, Intrawest, continues to make moves in the mountain resort business.

According to media reports, Intrawest has announced plans to sell Panorama Mountain Resort, near Invermere, B.C., and is committing to a second real estate project at Les Arcs, France.

The Invermere Valley Echo reported last week that Panorma officials have informed employees Intrawest is pursuing a sale of the resort.

“Intrawest wants to concentrate its core resort assets,” the Valley Echo quoted Mark Woodburn, general manager and vice-president of Panorama. “Panorama doesn’t fit into Intrawest’s new direction.”

Woodburn referred calls to Intrawest head office this week. Intrawest officials could not be reached for further comment.

Woodburn told the Valley Echo that no prospective buyers have been identified yet. He also said the decision was not affected by Fortress’s October acquisition of Intrawest.

“Any way you measure it, we’re the smaller of Intrawest’s resorts,” said Woodburn, who added that Intrawest is focusing on growth of larger resorts, such as Whistler-Blackcomb and Mt. Tremblant.

Meanwhile, Ski Area Management magazine is reporting that Intrawest has announced a project called Edenarc 1800, a four-star resort, at Les Arcs. The property has 360-degree views of Mont Blanc and the Tarentaise Valley, ski-in, ski-out access to more than 420 km of trails, and direct access to world class golf facilities.

Intrawest is close to finishing its first real estate project at Les Arcs, called Arc 1950 Le Village.

In December Intrawest announced a deal to purchase Colorado’s Steamboat Springs ski area and related real estate for $265 million, subject to regulatory and U.S. Forest Service approval.