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Subject Whistler ski resort to go up for auction during Olympics
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Original Message [link to olympics.thestar.com]

WOLFGANG RATTAY/REUTERS
Canada's Britt Janyk skis the hills of Whistler during a World Cup race in 2008.
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Whistler ski resort to go up for auction during Olympics
January 20, 2010 The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER—Lenders have seized the assets of Intrawest ULC, including the Whistler ski resort that will be home to the Olympic downhill races next month.

Intrawest said it will be “business as usual,” despite the possibility the high-end B.C. resort will be on the auction block even as Olympic athletes grace its slopes.

And Olympic organizers said they’re confident that the Games will go on.

Dan Doyle, executive vice-president of construction for the organizing committee, known as VANOC, said the venues in Whistler are ready.

“It doesn’t make very good business sense for people to put them out of business at the time of the year when they’re making their most earnings,” Doyle told reporters in Vancouver following the local organizing committee board’s final meeting before the Games.

Doyle said bankruptcy doesn’t happen overnight.

“It’s a long process, it’s a process that takes months. Given all of that, we’re very confident that the Games will go on at those two venues in Whistler, and they’ll go on with the co-operation of the people that are running the mountain,” he said, noting that Games organizers have sought legal advice on the situation.

A public notice has been posted in newspapers by the company’s lenders saying that an auction to sell the assets will be held on Feb. 19, right in the midst of the Olympics, which begin Feb. 12.

Vancouver-based Intrawest, which is owned by private equity firm Fortress Investment Group LLC, reportedly missed payments last month that were due on a $1.4 billion (U.S.) loan.

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