Timberline sale looming Nobody is talking, but word has it a deal between the Trilogy Development Corporation and the B.C. Labourers’ Pension Fund for the oft-auctioned Timberline Lodge is nearing completion. The Labourers’ Pension Fund has had the 48-room village hotel on the block since before Christmas, but speculation has been hot and heavy in the valley as some big fish have lined up to have a look at the Timberline's hook, line and sinker. The biggest fish so far is Trilogy, developer of Whistler's Marketplace — which the company sold to The Ontario Hospital Pension Fund in June of 1994 for just over $50 million. Trilogy is now in the process of developing and selling Market Pavilion. "No comment," was the word from the office of Kathy McGuinty, financial manager with the B.C. Labourers’ Pension Fund about the possible sale of the hotel. The Timberline, which cost roughly $10 million to build when Whistler Village started filling out in the mid ’80s, accounts for roughly 10 per cent of the Labourers’ Pension Fund assets. Although the $7.2 million price tag may sound like a good deal in an international market like Whistler, the Labourer's haven't found a buyer — yet. Timberline manager John Burg could not be reached for comment. But selling the Timberline isn't the biggest problem facing the Labourers’ board of trustees. Pensioners' payments were cut 33 per cent May 1 as trustees attempt to turn around the financial misfortunes of the fund using a five-year fiscal plan. Pension plan trustees also sent notices to 5,000 retired, active and inactive members of the B.C. Labourers Pension Plan informing them that poorly performing investments and decreasing new premiums have resulted in a severe shortfall in its net worth. Provincial legislation which came into effect last year stipulates only 25 per cent of a pension fund's assets can be in real estate. In early March, the B.C. Labourers’ Pension Fund filed their financial statements for the fiscal year ending April 30, 1994 and auditor Topping, Eyton and Partners revealed the picture is not good. "For the fiscal years ended April 30, 1994, 1993 and 1992, the revenue derived from contributions and investment income has not been sufficient to meet operating and pension expenditures. During the same period, assets available to meet such expenditures have declined significantly in value," the auditor's report outlines. The financial statements also show the fund's net assets shrank from $78.8 million to $68.5 million during 1993-94 and 86 per cent of those funds were tied up in real estate. This spells bad news for the 1,788 pensioners and 95 beneficiaries waiting to collect on their pension contributions.


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