News Local

Skyline invests in Blue Mountain 0

By Emily Innes, Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin

Blue Mountain Village in Collingwood.
QMI AGENCY

Blue Mountain Village in Collingwood. QMI AGENCY

THE BLUE MOUNTAINS - 

A Toronto-based developer will be acquiring $20 million worth of land in and around Blue Mountain Village and Resort.

Skyline International Development announced Thursday it has a binding agreement of purchase and sale to acquire 50% of existing commercial retail space within the Blue Mountain Village, west of Collingwood, from its current owner, Intrawest ULC.

“It really complements our existing properties,” Skyline CEO Michael Sneyd told QMI Agency. “By acquiring half of the retail village and all the remaining development lands at Blue, we now have a complete portfolio of all of the recreational destinations north of the Greater Toronto Area.”

Skyline owns Horseshoe Resort in Oro-Medonte, Port McNicoll properties near Midland and Deerhurst Resorts in Huntsville.

Sneyd said Skyline will also manage the remaining 50% of the Village’s retail space, which is owned by a U.S.-based real-estate investment trust.

The company also announced it plans to build an additional 20,000 square feet of retail space to expand the Village retail beyond the existing 37,000 square feet it will own.

Currently, there is 64,000 square feet of retail land at Blue Mountain Village.

Sneyd said the retail space will have a similar design to the current layout, which is businesses being placed on the ground level of condominiums.

Skyline plans to build roughly 840 condominiums and 360 single-family and townhouse units.

Sneyd said one of Skyline’s employees was the asset manager for Blue Mountain who was responsible for all the leasing and all of the development of the condominiums.

“He is the perfect guy to take it to the next step,” he said.

“There will be very little change for (the retailers) because it will be the same guy as they were dealing with for years,” Sneyd added. “It is a continuation of a great relationship that they had in the past.”

The anticipated closing date for the acquisition is late February 2013.

Sneyd said it will take about 10 to 15 years to complete the project.

The company plans to expand its SkyLife Club to The Blue Mountains, which allows members to receive deals on a variety of activities, by including a SkyLife lounge that will feature a spa.

“This agreement reinforces our vision to be the leader in the Canadian destination-community industry,” said Gil Blutrich, Skyline chair and president, said in a news release. “With this acquisition, Skyline will become the largest owner of resort and destination communities in Ontario.”

Blue Mountain Resort marketing director Paul Pinchbeck said the positive side of the sale is there will be more growth in the area because a company is demonstrating “faith” in it.

“There are not many spots where companies are dropping a lot of money into investing in tourism,” he said, adding $20 million is a significant investment.

Pinchbeck said it will be “a little strange” to have a new player at the table, but Intrawest will continue to own the Westin, the ski hills, the golf course and tennis courts.

Intrawest officials could not be reached for comment.

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