Want to buy a ski resort?

Anybody looking for a little local ski hill to call their own? Your timing could be just right.

WHISTLER, British Columbia – At the height of its Olympic glory, Whistler — the ski resort hosting glamorous Alpine events at the Winter Games — may be headed for the auction block.

It’s owned by a New York hedge fund that is reportedly behind on a $524 million loan payment, the result of flagging resort business and plummeting property values.

Creditors want their money back, and they’re playing hardball — calling an auction to put Whistler and other property up for sale Friday, the same day Bode Miller is scheduled to compete for his second Olympic medal in the men’s super-G.

Full article at MSNBC.

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Without cheap oil, there will be no cheap useless stuff coming over here on boats from Asia.

Oh, the lightweight cheap useless stuff will keep coming. What % of the price of a cell phone or Ipod do you think is represented by the energy cost to ship it here?

Heavy equipment is another story.

No Longer Looking

Our 80s family trips involved piling the kids in the 77 Impala and driving around BC. Cheap motels, staying in relatives basements, or campsites. Hiking around ghost towns (visiting my great grandfathers grave at one of them) and having picnics instead of going to restaurants.

The real change for the middle class in recent years is renovation obsession. So much unnecessary spending and environmental destruction. Every goof who can swing a hammer thinks they're the next Mike Holmes. Up until about ten years, renovations was something you might do if you won the lottery. People somehow survived their 20 year-old kitchens and washrooms.


#37, #38, #40, #41, How to Protect your savings I sold my Condo in November and now sit on a pile a cash waiting for the great sinking. My RRSP is already full, but that is where I would have put some of my money first. I decided to open a questrade account – they are cheap and give you some money back if you decide to keep your money in Mututal Funds. I didn't like the idea of a private funds manager (they erode 1% of your capital every year) and storing it in the bank is just stupid (1% a year return on investment? If you include inflation, that again 1% erosion a year.) I'm not a trader so I decided to buy a few different mutual funds. My advice (from an anonymous coward) is stay away from… Read more »


Oh man, if I hear one more story about how the world will want to live here because we're getting sunshine I might piss my pants, lol! I went to Maui recently, loved it, could totally see myself living there. Did I move though? No. Why? IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!!!! How many times do you have to say it before it ever sinks in. Vacationers will always look at a place and think, ya, I could see myself living here. Then they realize vacationing somewhere and making a living somewhere are two, completely different things. Is there a ratio for sunshine days to price? Fuck me. If sunshine ruled real estate, why are Vegas, Phoenix, Miami and San Diego crashing so bloody hard? Why? Bubbles are bubbles regardless of bullish simple-minded sentiment used to persuade the never thinking sheeple. It's… Read more »


Stop fretting about the medal count. Check out the definitive source here. We're a bit behind, but still on pace for WAY better than Turin.

Bubble Lad

Olympic related: I've been out of the loop on the Island since the games started. Returned home today (by transit, of course!) – I felt like crying hot tears of joy: Vancouver, for the first time I've been here in the past five years, felt like an actual CITY! (translation: people using public transit, every street in the city not emptying out by 6:15).

I've been against the Olympics, but MAN! I'm going to be sad to see them go! for two brief weeks in the winter (spring!) of 2010, I lived in the CITY of Vancouver, instead of the sad, tired, provincial dump of a glorified lumber camp that I've come to know (sniff!).

If only it could last!


@pricedoutfornow how did we get here? Many reasons- but one important reason was the decision by our "leaders" to restructure our economy in North America. We sent low-skill jobs to low-wage jurisdictions in exchange for cheap consumer products. All that was required was a minimum number of jobs and enough credit to fuel consumption and keep this model working. Of course, many of those who once filled these jobs are left out- the permanent underclass or 10-15% of the population who are "surplus". In Canada we give them welfare, in the US they end up in prison or in Iraq. Patriotz- you needn't go back that far to find a much more modest lifestyle. In the 1980s, (the decade that 20somethings pay homage to through their sense of fashion) I shared a room with my brother (gasp), and a vacation… Read more »


Article on IOC, couldn't read entire article, in summary what did it say?


@bestplaceonmeth — unemployment is on the way up, perhaps way, way up in Vancouver. I talked to someone in a major roofing company the other day and he said his company is quickly running out of work, and so are many other companies. This is after a multi-year boom when they were constantly booked solid 6-8 mths in advance.

Also, bids on new contracts are so competitive and profit margins so low that companies who 'win' the bid will probably lose money, or break even at best. Essentially, the companies are just trying to keep their workers employed so that they don't lose skilled workers when the market picks up again. They haven't figured out yet that things aren't picking up again any time soon. The boom is over and it ain't coming back.

Furlong is Paranoid

Olympics, Inc: Inside The Secretive, $6 Billion World Of The International Olympic Committee

linked to



Yes, I do realize that we're just about 1/2 way through the games – that's why I posted the link.

2006, 1.5 medals per day

2010, 1.1 medals per day so far.

I hope the 2nd half shows better results or we'll "Own The Imodium" for being so full of shit.


Host countries want to do well, China had their "project 119" and I'm sure that the UK will have something as well. WIth Own the podium the amount of funding for sports programs and training at the Olympic level was greatly increased.

While the pressure and expectations on athletes may have increased so did their funding. I'm sure that most athlete would prefer to keep the funding and deal with the added pressure. These are elite level athletes at the top of their mental and physical games, if they can't deal with the pressure then they took the wrong path in life.

Are the Bulls Right?

I hate to say it, but the bulls might be right about the weather and real estate. While standing in line today at the Aboriginal Village venue, I was chatting with 2 couples – one from NY and the other from Bellingham. We started talking about the real estate market, the city, and the weather. The New Yorkers literally said, "I guess everyone is going to want to live here." I proceeded to inform them that our real estate was more unaffordably than NY, that we had no 30 year fixed mortgages (they were extremely shocked), that our average incomes versus our average house price, that our CMHC insured mortgages were more than our national debt, and that rampant Olympic price gouging by soon to be reluctant landlords. The Bellingham couple actually said that their city thought they would be… Read more »


@bestplaceonmeth: Ummm…you do realize that we're just about half-way through the competition, do you not?

I've been mostly enjoying the games thus far (except for Canada's poor performance this evening in men's hockey versus the Swiss.) So who's in net against the Yanks on Saturday–the old man from Montreal, or the younger man from Montreal?

Loud Speaker

@bestplaceonmeth: Most of the retail empty places are being occupied as economy is taking bounce through gauge of recovery.Most recently TIM HORTONS occupied LA HERMITAGE VILLE and it is pulling off mind blowing crowd from the Olympics otherhand it's also running succesfully even with non Olympics vistor.ONE block to otherside- NOVUS is comming to TV TOWERS and PHARMASAVE has aquired an entire retail space at RAFFLES almost five spots for ONE store.

Economy is improving so does the essence of Vancouverboom2.


I think Canada has done very well in the medals so far.


@VRENGD: #23

Unlikely, as unemployment in Vancouver has doubled since the last peak, from 4% t 8%.

I'm not sure how many will be out of work after the Olympics but it's probably north of 50,000.

The glut of vacant retail space and basement suites continues to swell.

Nice to see the Americans are owning the podium, and they did it without a stupid, arrogant slogan.

We must have entered a parallel universe.


The backpeddling is going full steam. The 'own the podium' disaste has put undue pressure on the athletes (say the athletes) and many wonder about a backlash coming from the hangover from the hype.

So , is that why the IOC TV schills are talking down the whole issue now and instead attacking the 'outsiders?'


About 4 million U.S. homeowners are 90 days or more delinquent on their loans or in foreclosure proceedings, Moody's Economy.com says…

New wave of foreclosures by end of 2010 is feared

Lend to anyone who can fog a mirror for too long and…RTP

In other news ****************************************

The FDIC has similar offices in Irvine, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla., and the number of bank failures in those states picked up dramatically after the FDIC opened those quarters.

FDIC to open office in Schaumburg

You have to hope that "F" is taking notes on what is happening down south…disastrous…maybe part of the reason for the policy change on Tuesday…RTP



Good point. Though these days many people only seem to have more because it's all financed by debt. When I was growing up I had friends whose families were poor, they had nothing, sometimes not even food in the fridge. But no debt (who would give someone so poor a credit card? Wouldn't happen!) These days I seem to know an awful lot of people who don't SEEM poor because they have a lot of stuff, take lots of vacations, and yet they're drowning in debt. So these people are even worse off than the families I knew who had nothing, because with the debt, they basically have less than nothing (ie. their net worth is negative if that makes any sense-it's the end of the day, I'm tired)

Starving Artist

What crabman said. Savings are bad right now, with rates below inflation you LOSE money (buying power). I just opened a self-directed TFSA account at credentialdirect.com (and closed my "high interest" joke of a savings TFSA at the bank)

Also you might want to check out Garth's new book Money Road.

A ton of good info on investing basic, tax avoidance, and basic portfolio management.

Even if you don't agree with his contrarian investing theory or prognostications, it is full of good basic info.


Vail is a top contender bidding for Whistler. I hope they buy it. A friend of mine has spent several years working at both Vail and Whistler, and says that Vail is run MUCH better. I think it must be, considering some of the experiences I've had at Whistler with staff who don't care, and poorly designed customer service (have you tried their system for renting skiis? The software is the worst designed I have ever seen. And software usability is my field).



Note that there are floating rate preferred shares that track prime. So your yield will go up if prime goes up, and the price will not be driven down by rate increases. For example:


There's a dividend tax credit on that so the yield is equivalent to about 4% interest.

But note how low it got during last year's bust. That's the problem – you don't want to be caught having to sell at a loss when it comes time to buy a house. If you have enough money that you won't need it all at once you can diversify to reduce risk. But you can't get rid of risk, if you want to go beyond GIC's.