Golf biz low for Intrawest |

Golf biz low for Intrawest

VANCOUVER – Intrawest Corp., owner of Copper Mountain Resort and operator of Winter Park, has its hands in a number of resort and travel businesses, but the golf side of the business did the company no favors this past year.In reporting 2005 fiscal year results late Monday, Intrawest said it lost $21.5 million in the fourth quarter ending June 30, which translated into a loss of 45 cents per diluted share. The company pinned the loss on a sale of five underperforming golf courses, which resulted in a write-down of assets of $17.6 million for the quarter.In addition to mountain resort holdings in the eastern and western U.S. and Canada, Intrawest claims a growing adventure travel sector, including a new heli-skiing operation, and holdings in real estate and lodging and property management. All told, Intrawest reported record total revenue for 2005 – reaching $1.68 billion for fiscal year 2005 versus $1.55 billion the year before.Mother Nature hurts bottom lineWhile numbers overall from the company’s geographically-varied resort businesses were mixed (Intrawest owns interests in 10 mountain resorts in both eastern and western Canada and the U.S.), resort growth was strong in our neck of the woods specifically.Intrawest reported an 11 percent increase in revenue from the company’s western U.S. resorts, which include Copper Mountain, Winter Park, and Mammoth in California. Resorts in the eastern part of Canada and the U.S. showed revenue gains of 6 percent.But factors outside of the immediate control of the company dragged down resort revenues generally at Intrawest. In British Columbia, home to Intrawest prize Whistler-Blackcomb and the Panorama resort, skier numbers and revenues were significantly down due to “the most challenging weather for the ski industry in 40 years,” Intrawest said in a release. Heavy rains washed out January resort business in the region, and warm, dry conditions through mid-March sealed a disappointing season there. Skier visits were down 14 percent at Whistler alone over last year.Shares of Intrawest closed up slightly on the Toronto Stock Exchange in advance of the company’s announcement late Monday. As of press time, shares of Intrawest in Canada as well as on the New York Stock Exchange retreated slightly.

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