Thursday, January 24, 2008

Intrawest Has a New Boss!

A shuffling of senior management within the executive ranks at Intrawest received front page coverage this past week in the Enterprise-Bulletin. Earlier this month, Intrawest announced the appointment of William (Bill) Jensen to the postion of Chief Executive Officer. As stated in their press release, Jensen brings to the position over 30 years of ski resort management experience including Vail, Breckenridge and several resorts in California. As within any business, appointing a senoir executive with a strong background in the business at hand can only be perceived as being a good thing.
Locally Intrawest has and continues to have a profound impact on the development of our area as a full four season resort area. Visitors attracted to the Village at Blue provide a much needed stimulus to the local economy and not just in winter. As President of the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board, I was contacted by Shawn Gillick of the Enterprise-Bulletin to comment on the executive changes at Intrawest relative to what changes if any they would have at the local level more specifically at Blue Mountain. The following was my reply which was subsequently published in the Friday January 18th edition of the paper.

As the President of our Board, I would certainly not expect to see any significant impact good or bad on the MLS ® sales activity that we report though the Georgian Triangle Real Estate Board stemming from corporate changes within the Intrawest organization. Their new CEO is a seasoned ski area management executive. His in depth knowledge of the ski resort industry can only serve to further enhance Intrawest’s leadership and progress including Blue Mountain. Intrawest have done an outstanding job of creating with the Village at Blue, an outstanding four season attraction for the area and changes at the executive level will certainly not alter this. The draw created by the Village at Blue certainly helps to attract people to the area, some of which may choose to purchase area real estate which is to the benefit of the entire Georgian Triangle economy. The Intrawest resort condominiums at Blue Mountain as at their other resorts are somewhat of a unique property and resale activity within this segment of our market is less than 1% of the total unit sales that were reported through our Board in 2007.
Overall there are far more overriding issues that can or will affect real estate in the area. At this point we see a more modest pace of growth for 2008 with several good years ahead, as the migration north by those to the south of us looking for an active retirement lifestyle continues to have a profound impact on our market.

To read the Enterprise-Bulletin's complete story click on the following link:

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.