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Intrawest Corporation has increased its stake in California’s Mammoth Mountain from 33 per cent to 51 per cent, although Mammoth founder and President Dave McCoy will retain voting control of the company. "We have increased our investment in one of the leading mountain resorts in North America," Intrawest President Joe Houssian said in a press release Monday. "Mammoth currently has about 900,000 visitors annually and we believe that can grow substantially." The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. Vancouver-based Intrawest, which owns Whistler and Blackcomb as well as six other mountain resorts, bought one-third of Mammoth from the McCoy family two years ago. The family has concentrated on running the mountain while Intrawest has been developing a village at Mammoth. "This transaction will allow us greater participation in the revenue stream created by the additional visitors Intrawest’s development of a four-season destination village at Mammoth will attract," Houssian added. Rusty Gregory, chief executive officer of Mammoth, said the mountain will benefit from the substantial capital provided by Intrawest’s stake in the company. Gregory said in the release Mammoth "anticipates making a major announcement on what will be an exciting new direction for the company in a couple of months." Intrawest’s increase in its stake in Mammoth is the first major acquisition announcement by the company since it purchased Mont Ste. Marie in Quebec last spring. The publicly traded company made several major deals last December, including acquiring Whistler Mountain, Copper Mountain in Colorado and entering into a real estate development agreement at Squaw Valley in California. Intrawest, one of the three largest players in the mountain resort business in North America, was believed to have been pursuing Colorado’s Steamboat resort last summer. Steamboat and Heavenly Valley, in California, were both bought last summer by Intrawest rival the American Skiing Company.

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