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Local contractors are pleased with the deal between Whistler Mountain and developer Intrawest to complete the Taluswood housing project. "There couldn’t be a better partner," said Jim Charters, spokesperson for local contractors. "We’d like to help them and work together." Although the deal with Intrawest has not been finalized, Charters said Intrawest’s experience and local involvement bodes well for the 40 or so local contractors owed almost $4 million for work done on the Taluswood project. Contractors will be willing to work with Intrawest, he said. Specifics of the deal between Whistler Mountain and rival Intrawest, owners of Blackcomb Mountain, have not been worked out. Contractors are hoping to hear from them soon and make arrangements for payments and to begin construction. "Everybody needs the money," said Charters. "Some of us have had to take out mortgages on our homes. It does hurt a lot of local people, but we are confident that it will all work out for the best with these two players." The Bank of Montreal started foreclosure proceedings on Taluswood last fall. Whistler Mountain, with a large share in the housing project, paid the receivers $14 million for the entire project. The assessed value was $17.87 million, although more than $30 million is owed to creditors. The only other offer on the project received by receivers Coopers and Lybrand was a bid of approximately $10 million from Intrawest. The $14 million purchase price was only enough to pay the top three Taluswood creditors: Bank of Montreal ($6.7 million), Scott Oki ($3.7 million) and Whistler Mountain ($7.28 million). The other creditors, including the local contractors, were not paid from the purchase price. Whistler Mountain had been looking for a developer to take over construction of the Taluswood units since it bought the project in May. Intrawest has until the end of the month to sign a deal with Whistler Mountain.

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