A poor snow year in Colorado and unseasonably warm temperatures in the East are being blamed for a drop in Intrawest’s earnings for the September-December period. Second quarter results released this week show income from continuing operations was $2.9 million, down from $4.2 million last year. If not for the early-season success of Whistler/Blackcomb Intrawest’s overall picture for the quarter would be even worse. But by the end of the fiscal year the company expects higher earnings than last year. "Despite the extremely difficult early season weather at some of our resorts we expect an increase in total company earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for the fiscal year in excess of 40 per cent over last year," Dan Jarvis, executive vice president and chief financial officer said in a release. "We are experiencing extraordinary performance at Whistler/Blackcomb, which is up 216,000 visits season-to-date, and are seeing above-target results in our real estate operations and improving performance at our other resorts, all of which gives us confidence in our projection for the year," Jarvis said. Real estate revenue for the quarter was $58.1 million, down from $84.9 million for the second quarter last year. Operating profit for the real estate division was $12.7 million, compared to $13.9 million the previous year. But Intrawest also has pre-sales of $276 million worth of real estate, for delivery in 2000/2001. Among the projects sold but yet to be built are all 80 units in the Tucker Mountain Lodge at Copper. The units sold out in 80 minutes last weekend, generating $25.2 million. In conjunction with the Feb. 6 sell-out of the first three buildings in the new Village at Copper, Intrawest generated $78.5 million in two days. Revenue from ski and resort operations was up nine per cent, to $95 million, in the second quarter. Revenue at Whistler/Blackcomb increased 17 per cent due to record early season business, and Tremblant improved 12 per cent, mainly due to increased lodging and retail revenues. Operating profit from ski and resort operations for the second quarter was $9.4 million, 26 per cent higher than the previous year. Year-to-date ski and resort operations revenue increased 40 per cent and operating profit increased 34 per cent over the same period last year.