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SAM Magazine-Whistler, B.C., June 22, 2010-Intrawest is exploring the sale of Whistler Blackcomb, according to the Wall Street Journal. WSJ says that Intrawest has talked with Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin about a potential acquisition. Potanin has expressed interest in Whistler Blackcomb in the past. Possible price for any such sale is not known.

Fortress Investment Group, Whistler Blackcomb's owner, is said to be exploring other options as well, including spinning off the resort into a separate company and doing an IPO.

Fortress paid $2.8 billion in 2006 for the Intrawest empire, and has seen nearly all of its $1.6 billion equity stake erased. Fortress restructured $1.4 billion in debt back in April, and has $1.2 billion in new loans as a result. The loans stretched out the payment period to 2014, but came at a higher interest rate. Intrawest also sold several properties, including Copper Mountain, Panorama resort, and the Sandestin golf resort, and paid down $150 million of its debt before it restructured its loans. More recently, Intrawest sold Mountain Creek resort in New Jersey.