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Straightforward strategy propels Intrawest

John Seelmeyer

There’s nothing complicated in the success formula for Intrawest, the largescale developer of resort properties that’s opening a regional office in Reno.

The company, which announced last week that it will lease 11,800 square feet at Magnolia Village for a regional office, develops and operates village-style resorts.

Its holdings in the Sierra include a 59 percent interest in California’s Mammoth Mountain, and it’s developing The Village at Squaw Valley, a 600-home project near Lake Tahoe.

The company’s strategy? It buys a resort golf or skiing are common centerpieces then looks to improve it.

It builds a village at the resort, attracting even more visitors.

The increase in visitors drives construction of more year-round facilities.

As occupancy and room rates climb, the resort becomes a year-round destination with healthy real estate sales.

In its most recent fiscal quarter, the Vancouver-based company said ski and resort operations accounted for $108.9 million of its $208 million in revenue.

Real estate sales accounted for the other $99 million.

As Matt Riecken of Trammell Crow Co.

worked to find property for the Intrawest regional office to Reno, he competed against proposals in Orange County and Newport Beach, Calif.

Reno won partly because of its proximity to the Intrawest resorts in the region as well the company’s executive offices in Vancouver, said Doug Ogilvy, the Intrawest vice president of development.

The availability of space at Magnolia Village developed by a division of The Magnolia Companies of Reno also was a factor in the company’s decision.

“Intrawest is a premier resort developer, and a quality facility such as Magnolia is a top priority for us,” Ogilvy said.

The company’s lease was the largest office transaction in Reno this year.

Tim Ruffin of Colliers International represented Magnolia Village in the negotiations.

The office will employ about 50.

Most of those workers will move from four offices the company is consolidating into the Reno operation, but Ogilvy said the company will be hiring locally for some positions.

The Reno office is one of six locations for Intrawest’s development and marketing offices.

The others will be at Vancouver,Montreal, Orlando, Denver and a European city yet to be announced.

Along with Squaw Valley and Mammoth properties, the Reno office will oversee resort villages at Solitude in Utah and Lake Las Vegas in southern Nevada as well as properties in Mexico, Southern California and the Southwest.

The company will continue to operate on-site sales offices at each property.