Intrawest resort real estate remains hot 

The parent company of Whistler-Blackcomb sold out four resort projects in one week in the United States.

The projects were offered up for sale on June 15 and June 22.

"We have sold out projects before, but virtually selling out four projects in the space of a week is a novel and confidence-enhancing experience for Intrawest," said Joe Houssian, Intrawest's chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Three of the developments launched were Intrawest projects at Sandestin, Florida; Tremblant, Quebec and Les Arcs, France. These generated US $67 million in revenue.

The fourth project, in Savannah, Georgia, was sold by Playground on commission for another developer.

"We are particularly pleased with our continued success at Sandestin and Les Arcs," said Houssian.

"Sales performance at Sandestin, our first warm-weather destination resort, confirms our view that our village-centred resort development strategy has huge potential in other warm-weather locations.

"At Les Arcs, the success of two launches, in March and June, gives us further confidence that we can apply the strategy we developed in North America to other opportunities in Europe."

With the addition of the recent pre-sales, total pre-sales due to close in the fourth quarter of 2002 and in the next two fiscal years amount to over $820 million US.

Contracted pre-sales due to close in fiscal 2003 amount to approximately $400 million. Intrawest typically pre-sells real estate projects before commencing construction to reduce risk.

During the same period, Playground also sold $36 million in resort real estate on commission for non-Intrawest clients in the U.S.

"This performance is further indication of the continuing momentum in the vacation home marketplace and the power of the launch sales methodology created by Playground," said Michael Coyle, Intrawest's senior vice-president, marketing.

"Playground is quickly establishing itself as the North American leader in resort home sales and is great validation of our strategy of leveraging our expertise to create business opportunities."

Earlier this year Intrawest had the largest real estate sales launch ever when it offered up the Four Seasons Resort Whistler. In less than six hours $152 million worth of suites sold out.

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