Intrawest Corporation, the premier developer of village-centered resorts in North America, and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world`s leading operator of luxury hotels and resorts, today unveiled a $150-million plan for a full-service luxury hotel in Whistler, B.C. that will be sold as freehold, strata-titled condominiums to individual owners. Intrawest is now accepting priority reservations for the invitation-only sales launch on February 25 and 26, 2002 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver.
The 242-suite Four Seasons Resort Whistler is the first development involving Four Seasons in which hotel suites will be fully owned by private purchasers and managed on their behalf by the hotel group.
Intrawest Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Joe Houssian, said Four Seasons Resort Whistler is a unique opportunity for purchasers to partner in what will be Whistler`s most luxurious resort property.
“The last time we offered anything like this was at the Pan Pacific Lodge in Whistler five years ago. It was a much smaller development and it sold out within 90 minutes.” Houssian said four other recent Intrawest projects in the region sold out on the first day of sales.
“Owners who bought into the Pan Pacific Lodge and other Intrawest projects at the pre-sales stage have seen the value of their properties increase substantially in the medium to longer term. For example, a two-bedroom suite purchased at the Pan Pacific Lodge for $359,900 in 1996 sold for $679,000 in 2001 ? an increase in value of 89 per cent.
“We expect many of those past purchasers to be keenly interested in Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Prospective buyers should register as early as possible to avoid disappointment.” Isadore Sharp, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, said Four Seasons Resort Whistler will offer a tremendous opportunity to enjoy Four Seasons signature service in a beautiful mountain setting.
“Four Seasons is pleased to partner with Intrawest to develop a luxury hotel in Whistler, the continent`s number one resort destination,” Sharp said. “Four Seasons Resort Whistler is one of our first mountain resort hotels and our first new hotel property in Canada in 20 years. We are looking forward to managing this property on behalf of our individual owners, and providing our Whistler guests with the unparalleled Four Seasons experience.”
Suites will range in size from 590-sq. ft. king suites to 2,900-sq. ft. three-bedroom presidential suites at prices ranging from the mid $300,000s to approximately $2.3 million. Owners will have access to their suites for 28 days in summer and 28 days in winter. For the rest of the year, the suites will be rented out as guest rooms by the hotel for which owners will receive the rental income less expenses. Owners will also have use of all the resort`s amenities even when not in residence.
Construction of Four Seasons Resort Whistler is scheduled to begin in April 2002 and will be completed by summer 2004. Houssian said the development could be the last significant opportunity for multiple private ownership of vacation accommodation in Whistler.
“With available development land in the Resort Municipality of Whistler rapidly reaching build-out, increasing consumer interest in leisure pursuits, and heightened consumer interest in real estate as a safe investment, there is a strong demand for upscale resort properties,” said Houssian. “Obviously, the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympic bid is also focusing new attention on the region and attracting inquiries from around the world.”
Intrawest Corporation (IDR:NYSE; ITW:TSE) is the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts across North America. The company owns 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 significant investment in Compagnie des Alpes, the largest ski company in the world in terms of skier visits and a 45 per cent interest in Alpine Helicopters Ltd., owner of Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world. The company is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and is located on the World Wide Web at www.intrawest.com.
About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
With a history spanning four decades and a portfolio that now extends around the globe, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (FS:NYSE, FSH:TSE) is the world`s leading operator of luxury hotels, currently managing 53 properties in 24 countries. In 2001, the company opened hotels in San Francisco, Dublin, Prague, Caracas, Buenos Aires and Carmelo, Uruguay and continues to expand with over 20 projects in development stages in choice locations around the world.
Four Seasons has claimed first position on many prestigious lists; recent honours include top ranking in the J.D. Powers Guest Satisfaction Survey; AAA Five Diamond awards (receiving more than other any hotel company for the 21st consecutive year), and the Zagat Survey 2001 (ranked as “Top Hotel Chain in the U.S.” and “Top Hotel Chain” internationally). Information on the company and its 40 years of achievement in the hospitality industry can be accessed through the Four Seasons web site at www.fourseasons.com.
About Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler Blackcomb has been rated the number one ski resort in North America for the last four years in major publications such as SKIING Magazine, The Daily Telegraph and Mountain & Sports Living Magazine. The region was also recently voted one of the top 50 golf destinations in the world by Cond&#eacute; Nast Traveler and the number one golf destination in Canada by Golf Course Ranking Magazine. Visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com for more information.
Statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Intrawest`s actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, seasonality, weather conditions, competition, general economic conditions, currency fluctuations and other risks detailed in the company`s filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.