VANCOUVER — Intrawest Corporation, the leading operator and developer of village-centered resorts across North America, announced that it has closed a transaction with the City and County of Denver to assume control of Winter Park Resort’s operations and to undertake development at the Colorado resort.
“This is a winning arrangement for all involved,” said Gary Raymond, Intrawest’s Chief Executive Officer, Development and Acquisitions. “Winter Park Resort will benefit as the newest member of Intrawest’s network of destination resorts. We are keen to pool our talents, resources and expertise with those of our colleagues at Winter Park to further enhance skiing, riding and summer recreation experiences for year-round visitors to the resort.”
Under the agreement, Intrawest made a payment to the City of Denver of $3 million. Intrawest will also pay the City of Denver $2 million annually, on a quarterly basis, for the next 10 years. Additionally, Intrawest will invest $50 million in mountain operations over the next 10 years, including $8 million during the first two years for upgrades to lifts, on-mountain facilities and equipment, and skier services.
“This is a long-anticipated day for Winter Park Resort’s staff and customers and the beginning of a very exciting new chapter for the resort,” said Gary DeFrange, vice-president and general manager of Winter Park Resort. “One of the great things about the culmination of this agreement is that it opens the door for collaborative marketing initiatives between Winter Park and Intrawest’s Copper Mountain that will benefit skiers and riders.”
Planning for the short- and long-term development of Winter Park will begin in 2003. A transition team will be joining the Winter Park staff to initiate strategic planning sessions and the envisioning process.
Closing of the agreement marks the end of a process that began 18 months ago. The City and County of Denver initially considered submissions from six companies and chose to negotiate the Winter Park agreement with Intrawest in January 2002.
Winter Park, Mary Jane (including Parsenn Bowl), Vasquez Cirque and Vasquez Ridge make up Winter Park Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in Colorado. The four adjacent mountains, each possessing their own unique character, are inter-connected by ski trails and lifts. The 2002/2003 season marks Winter Park’s 64th year of operation. Twenty-three lifts including eight high-speed express quads, four triples, seven double chairlifts, a rope tow and three Magic Carpets provide an uphill capacity of 35,030 skiers per hour. Set in the Vasquez Mountains of Arapaho National Forest, Winter Park is the closest major ski resort to Denver. Winter Park Resort is located 67 miles (108 km) northwest of Denver.
Intrawest Corporation (IDR:NYSE; ITW:TSX) is the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts across North America. The company owns or controls 10 mountain resorts, including Whistler Blackcomb, North America’s most popular mountain resort. Intrawest also owns Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida and has a premier vacation ownership business, Club Intrawest. The company has a 45 per cent interest in Alpine Helicopters Ltd., owner of Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and is located on the World Wide Web at www.intrawest.com.