Olympics to be Foreclosed On?

There are dueling headlines out there, regarding the financials of Intrawest the holding company that owns Whistler-Blackcomb that is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. Hat tip to Tommy Horrocks [update: it appears @TommyHorrocks deleted the tweet I saw] (@TommyHorrocks) for retweeting a tweet from @wingoz:

not the pre olympic news NBC was looking for. http://bit.ly/6g7hEL

The first report I saw notes that Intrawest the group that owns Whistler-Blackcomb missed payments and their lenders are seizing and auctioning off the Intrawest holdings. The contra report confirms payments were missed but negotiations are underway to resolve the situation.

From the first story:

A public notice has been posted in newspapers by the company’s lenders, which include Lehman Brothers, saying that an auction to sell the assets will be held on Feb. 19, right in the midst of the Olympics.

However, a statement on the Whistler-Blackcomb site states:

VANCOUVER, BC. – January 20, 2010 – There have been inaccurate and misleading media reports surrounding Intrawest today. Fortress Investment Group continues to own and control Intrawest and all of its properties. Serious discussions with Intrawest’s lenders are ongoing regarding refinancing and the Company continues to operate “business as usual” at all of its resort properties. Intrawest is looking forward to the success of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

It is my opinion these stories do not contradict each other. An operation the size of Whistler-Blackcomb just does not close its doors and kick everyone out. Who knows, the facility could be sold smack dab in the middle of the games and no one would really know. Also likely is Intrawest could come up with the payments or make satisfactory arrangements with its lenders.

Either way, the Olympics and other events will not be affected.

Good Stuff!

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