Whistler resort owner Intrawest strikes refinancing deal with lenders


VANCOUVER — Ski resort operator Intrawest has struck a deal with lenders in a financial fight that became a public relations headache for organizers of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Details of the new loan were not released, but Intrawest, a unit of Fortress Investment Group, said Tuesday that all prior lenders had been repaid in full and the new loan does not mature until 2014.

Intrawest had been negotiating with lenders to refinance the $1.7 billion in debt taken on when Fortress purchased it in 2006. The earlier loans had been due in December.

Intrawest’s North American properties include the Whistler Blackcomb resort, which was used for alpine and sliding competition during February’s Winter Olympics and the Paralympics in March.

Lenders had threatened to force a foreclosure auction for the property during the Games, prompting media speculation that the event might be disrupted.

Olympic organizers discounted the threat, saying a Canadian judge would be unlikely to allow a fight between New York-based Fortress and U.S.-based lenders to disrupt an event that had Canada in the world spotlight.

In addition to Whistler, Intrawest owns Squaw Valley in California, Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, Mountain Creek in New Jersey, Stratton Mountain in Vermont, Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia, Blue Mountain in Ontario and Quebec’s Mont Tremblant.

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