Foreclosure: The Newest Event at the Vancouver Winter Olympics

The newest event at the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver next month is ...


[cue trumpets]


That’s right, the event that’s supposed to distract all the world from harsh economic realities and lift the spirits of millions may itself be a victim of these brutal times.

The Whistler ski resortin Vancouver, where the XXI Winter Olympicswill be held next month, slipped into foreclosure after parent Intrawest missed a $524 million debt payment last month and it could be auctioned off by creditors — in the middle of the Games!

Intrawest says no assets have yet been seized, but creditors issued the foreclosure notice in major newspapers, including the New York Times and Toronto Globe and Mail, and have already set the auction of Intrawest assets for Feb. 19.

Like a speed skater who misses out on the gold after tripping on a glitch in the ice, part of Intrawest’s problem was bad timing: The company was bought by New York private-equity firm Fortress in a leveraged buyout, and a $1.7 billion loan came due in late 2008 — right as the financial crisis hit.

And, like getting clubbed in the knee with a metal pipe, there was another devastating turn: One of Intrawest's creditors was Lehman Brothers.

And the gold medal goes to ...

The financial crisis!

Oh, Canada ...

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