apex 

Arthur Anderson Inc. has been appointed receiver-manager of Apex Mountain Resorts Ltd. and will keep the Okanagan ski area running this winter, but the Apex companies could be back in the picture if their $125 million law suit against the government is successful. Apex officials consented to the appointment of the receiver-manager last week "due to amongst other things, the continuing threats of native roadblocks on the Apex Mountain Resort access roads," Apex Resorts Corporation President Mel Reeves said in a release. The appointment of Arthur Anderson Inc. frees Apex Resorts Corporation from its loan obligations, allows the company to reorganize and pursue its claims against the province and retain the right to bid on the Apex Mountain Resort asset should the province be successful in resolving the dispute over the access road. Meanwhile, the province has agreed to fund the ongoing costs of operating the mountain through the receiver-manager. "The appointment of a receiver-manager to operate the ski hill offers the best opportunity for an economically viable ski operation that will provide jobs and other economic benefits to the people of the South Okanagan region," a provincial official said in a release. The province announced in July it was calling the $8.6 million loan to Apex it had guaranteed. Employment and Investment Minister Dan Miller told Apex employees the resort operators hadn’t made even one interest payment on the loan. Miller also felt the Apex operators had no intention of repaying the loan. Apex officials said they had worked out a schedule for repayment and company restructuring with government officials prior to the May provincial election but the plan was rejected by cabinet after the election. The province guaranteed the Bank of Montreal loan to Apex following a five-week native blockade of the Green Mountain access road in the fall of 1994. The resort said the blockade cost the company $3 million directly, caused the ski are to open late and scared away skiers and investors. The loan was intended to help the resort recover. In the meantime, Apex announced it was pursuing a $125 million suit against the province for damages caused by the blockade.

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