Intrawest announces layoffs, specifics unavailable
November 19, 2008
Winter Park, Colorado ” The celebratory atmosphere of opening day at Winter Park Resort was tempered Wednesday as Intrawest announced job cuts, company-wide.
Intrawest corporate spokesperson Ian Galbraith would not give specifics about the number of workers, if any, affected at Winter Park Ski Resort.
The company issued a statement around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday that read, “Like many companies in North America, Intrawest is not immune in this current economic environment. As such, we are taking the necessary steps to preserve our ability to be competitive and ensure our future success.
“As part of this process we have taken the difficult step of reducing and realigning our work force. Impacted employees have been offered access to outplacement services to help in their transition. Although these are difficult decisions for us, our vision remains consistent and we are committed to delivering exceptional experiences for our guests, homeowners and employees.”
Intrawest owns Colorado resorts Winter Park, Copper Mountain and Steamboat, along with several other resorts in North America.
The job cuts follow an October announcement that the company had successfully refinanced a $1.7 billion loan that helped pay for the 2006 acquisition of Intrawest by Fortress Investment Group.
New York-based Fortress manages private equity, hedge funds and real estate-related investments. Fortress bought Intrawest for $2.8 billion, including the $1.7 billion loan that was due for repayment Oct. 23.
Lehman Brothers, which ceased to exist during the recent financial crisis on Wall Street, was one of the companies involved in the original financing of the Intrawest loan.
Weakness in the global economy is expected to put a dent in the travel business this winter, as advance reservations have already taken a hit.
Intrawest didn’t release details of the new financing, but the terms of a new loan could be more costly in today’s credit market, according to Jackson Turner, who tracks Fortress for New York-based Argus Research.
“They’re going to have higher debt costs. That will take more dollars out of a shrinking pie,” Turner said before the deal was announced.
Paying more to service the debt would leave less money available for other expenditures, he said. Depending on the terms of the deal, there could be some cutbacks in store.
” Information in this article came from a piece by Bob Berwyn of the Summit Daily News, published in the Sky-Hi Daily News in October.