Intrawest to sell Canada's Panorama ski resort

Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:20pm EST
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canadian ski resort operator Intrawest, which is trying to refinance its debt, said on Thursday it has agreed to sell its Panorama Mountain ski resort in eastern British Columbia to a group of local businessmen.

The deal does not involve Intrawest's Whistler-Blackcomb resort near Vancouver, which will play host to the Winter Olympics' alpine and nordic ski events next month.

Financial terms of the Panorama sale were not announced, but the deal also includes land around the ski resort that is available for real estate development and a half stake in the Greywolf Golf Course, Intrawest said.

Intrawest, which is owned by private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, has been negotiating with lenders over the $1.7 billion debt Fortress took on when it bought the resort operator and real estate firm in 2006.

Intrawest said it expects the Panorama deal to close next month, and operations at the resort in the Rocky Mountains continues as usual. The company agreed to sell its Copper Mountain resort in Colorado in November.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee has said it is not worried that Intrawest's financial situation will disrupt Olympic events to be held at Whistler.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing by Peter Galloway)