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Four Seasons suites sold in six hours

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Even whistler’s mayor was surprised by the speed at which Intrawest’s latest development in Whistler sold-out this week.

"Is that a record?" asked Mayor Hugh O’Reilly referring to the sale of $152 million worth of Four Season Hotel suites in less than six hours on Tuesday.

"It definitely is a record for us in a lot of way," said Paul Woodward, vice-president, for Intrawest’s Resort Development Group-Whistler.

"I haven’t done the math in terms of dollars per hour, but it was certainly our record launch."

Mayor O’Reilly puts the success of the sale of the 242 yet-to-be-built suites down to four main factors; the spectacular nature of Whistler, the loyalty of Four Seasons users, the fact that the community is almost at build-out, and the low Canadian dollar.

"The sales in that time frame speak volumes about what people see in the resort," he said.

The development of this type of property is good for Whistler, said O’Reilly as the Four Seasons focuses on all-season business. It will help keep the resort humming winter and summer.

"It’s great to have this type of population in Whistler because it puts us on the map all year round," said O’Reilly.

The new hotel will be located on the Blackcomb Benchlands. It won’t be open for occupancy until the spring or summer of 2004. Buyers had to put 10 per cent down, pay another 10 per cent in eight months and the balance on completion.

Intrawest anticipated huge demand after earlier developments also sold out fast. It helped that under Whistler’s community plan there is only two or three years left of development before the resort reaches its maximum bed-unit limit.

Buyers included NHL players and Hong Kong investors, who snagged the most expensive suite, the Penthouse, a 2,900-square-foot presidential suite at a cost of $2.3 million.

The suites ranged in cost from $350,000 for a 590-square-foot suite to the multi-million dollar Penthouse.

Most of the buyers were from B.C. but some came from Ontario and the United States.

"Four Seasons Resort Whistler is the largest real estate sales launch ever carried out by Intrawest, not only in Whistler but at any Intrawest-owned resort," said Joe Houssian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Intrawest.

"Selling out of the project in this short amount of time is confirmation that purchaser demand for luxury resort suites is strong."

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