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Grouse Mountain resort near Vancouver to be sold

Freshly-fallen snow coats trees as the Grouse Mountain Skyride cable car transports people down the mountain in North Vancouver, B.C., on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015. The family business that has owned the Grouse Mountain resort for the past 40 years has announced plans to sell.

DARRYL DYCK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The venerable Grouse Mountain resort in North Vancouver is being put up for sale after the family that has owned it for the past 40 years decided it was time to pursue other interests.

"This recent decision will ensure that Grouse Mountain continues to build on its strong heritage and further cultivate the Grouse Mountain brand and opportunities," said a statement Monday from the resort operation. In the statement, Grouse Mountain president Michael Cameron said the operation's management and staff look forward to continuing to offer positive experiences to visitors.

A spokeswoman for the McLaughlin family, which owns the resort, said it had concluded that selling the resort would allow it to focus on unspecified other interests. "The business is doing well so the current owners feel this is the time to do this," Julia Grant said in an interview.

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Ms. Grant said Monday's announcement has nothing to do with plans, announced last month, to sell Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. to Colorado-based Vail Resorts Inc. in a $1.4-billion cash-and-stock deal.

"It seems to be purely a coincidence in timing," Ms. Grant said.

She also said there was no time frame to disclose on selling the resort. Since 1989, Grouse operators have spent more than $55-million for capital improvements to turn Grouse from a winter-focused resort into an operation with four-season appeal that annually attracts about 1.3 million visitors, said the statement.

A senior official with CBRE Canada, which will market and sell the resort operations and nearly 500 hectares of land, all privately held by the McLaughlin family, said he expected strong interest in the assets.

"Grouse Mountain presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire an iconic Vancouver landmark," Tony Quattrin, vice-chairman of national investment at CBRE, said in a statement issued by the resort operation.

"We anticipate a high level of local, national and international interest in acquiring Vancouver's premier year-round outdoor recreation destination."

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No prospective price was immediately announced for the resort, which includes a gondola system, ski runs, a restaurant, refuge for endangered wildlife and a zipline.

The operation does not include the Grouse Grind hiking trail, jokingly known as "Mother Nature's Stairmaster," which offers a 2,830-step climb over about three kilometres.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the name of the firm that will market and sell Grouse Mountain. It is CBRE Canada, not Commercial Real Estate Services Canada.

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