A Vancouver Island resort development with a high-profile owner was placed under court protection from creditors Thursday.

Bear Mountain Resort is run by a partnership headed by Len Barrie, the former NHL player and former owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Former Tampa Bay Lightning owner Len Barrie's Vancouver Island resort has been placed under court protection from creditors. ((Chris O'Meara/Associated Press))

Barrie said in a statement the partnership agreed not to oppose an application to place the resort under creditor protection by HSBC, one of the world's largest banks, whose support is required to allow operations to continue.

"Since January 2009, Bear Mountain Resort has experienced more than $110 million in real estate transactions, yet in spite of this success in operations and sales, we were unable to reach agreement with HSBC to continue operations outside of a formal process," he said.

"We remain optimistic that our present negotiations will allow us to reach satisfactory arrangements with HSBC and move forward with the remainder of the development at Bear Mountain."

HSBC declined to comment Thursday.

The Bear Mountain development was planned to include about 3,500 residences, two golf courses and resort properties built out over the next decade, north of Victoria.

Barrie said he continues to pursue opportunities to restructure the resort's debt and other strategic alternatives.

Bear Mountain said in a statement it will be business as usual while it undergoes the restructuring. The resort said a number of planned events will go ahead, including the Telus World Skins Game, which will host Canadian golfer Mike Weir this summer

The resort also lists several former and current NHL players among its investors, including Mike Vernon, Joe Nieuwendyk, Rob Niedermayer, Ray Whitney and Ryan Smyth.