Hotel suites fetch $92 million in five hours 

The companies involved with the sale and renovation of the Whistler Village Resort,

The companies involved with the sale and renovation of the Whistler Village Resort, which was formerly known as the Delta Whistler Resort, made $92 million last Tuesday when 172 suites were sold in five hours.

Playground Real Estate, which is a division of Intrawest, WWHotels, the Whistler Real Estate Company and the Westmont Hospitality Group were all involved in a marketing campaign to promote the sale of 186 suites situated just seconds from the Whistler Village Gondola.

The sale has been highly anticipated for the hotel’s location but also because of the hotel’s arrangement with Hilton.

The deal is not confirmed, but the Whistler Village Resort is expected to be renamed the Hilton Resort in 2005 when the renovations are completed.

John Ryan from Whistler Real Estate said the sale, which was held in Vancouver, was the second biggest Whistler Real Estate had facilitated.

"The Four Seasons (242 suites) was the only one that came close to this one," Ryan said.

"We’ve sold a few more suites today but still 92 million in sales in one day is a great day."

The suites were sold for between $250,000 and $1.5 million.

"Because we only had nine of them; the three-bedroom apartments (were the most expensive and) sold for over a million, up to $1.5 million.

"The average sale was around $550,000."

Ryan said many of the buyers were investors looking for a long-term gain.

"I think most of buyers are long-term, particularly with Hilton, the name sells and most people would be happy to have that as part of their portfolio."

Despite the buzz surrounding Hilton, Ryan said he was not sure when Hilton’s involvement would be confirmed.

"We’re actually not involved with that side of the process so I don’t know about that (Hilton) but I bought one (a suite) personally so I’m pretty confident it’s all going to work out."

Local investor Michael Kirsh has been buying properties in Whistler since 1988 and he is now the owner of a three-bedroom suite in the Whistler Village Resort.

"What I like most about it is that it’s almost a phase one, which means you’re allowed to use it for almost as long as you want," Kirsh said.

"With a lot of the other hotels around Whistler, they’re phase two and that puts a lot more restrictions and how long you can stay there.

"The location is also amazing and I love the Hilton name.

"One other thing is that there were really large units being offered.

"Three-bedroom units in Whistler are very, very rare, particularly at phase-one, ski-in, ski-out and I know there’s a lot of families that come here together that would like to share a place like that."


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