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Ottawa ski-area owner makes bid for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

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A rival bid for the financially troubled Resorts of the Canadian Rockies was launched last week by an owner of Quebec’s Camp Fortune ski area.

According to a report in the National Post , Bob Sudermann said he plans to offer a competing tender for the struggling company, which is run by former mountain guide, cowboy and stockbroker Charlie Locke.

Earlier in June, an Alberta oilman and financer, Murray Edwards, ponied up with badly needed short-term financing to rescue the debt-ridden company from its creditors.

RCR has been under court protection since March after the combination of a poor ski season and the withdrawal of a major U.S. lender led to a cash crunch. The Calgary-based company owes creditors $148 million and has assets worth $160 million.

Locke and Edwards are currently in the throes of finalizing a plan that would keep RCR intact while allowing the company to free itself from creditor protection.

The Ottawa-based Sudermann, who owns Camp Fortune in the Gatineau Mountains with his brother, did not disclose how much his bid was worth.

RCR consists of eight ski areas in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, including high-profile resorts such as Fernie and Lake Louise. The company’s holdings also include golf courses and real-estate developments.

The eccentric Locke started building his ski-resort empire in 1974 after buying into the Lake Louise ski area. In the last five years he expanded rapidly acquiring additional ski areas.

RCR is North America’s largest privately owned ski-resort operator and sees more than two-million annual skier visits.

The company also owns Kimberley in B.C.; Nakiska, Fortress and Wintergreen in Alberta; and Mont-Sainte Anne and Stoneham in Quebec.

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