British Columbia

Debt pushes Manning Park resort into receivership

Overwhelming debt has driven the Manning Park Resort near Hope, B.C., into receivership, but the receiver appointed to return the operation to financial stability says it will be business as usual for guests of the resort this winter.
The Manning Park Resort was taken over by receivers this week after it racked up $4.2 million in debt. ((Manning Park Resort))
Overwhelming debt has driven the Manning Park Resort near Hope, B.C., into receivership, but the receiver appointed to return the operation to financial stability says it will be business as usual for guests of the resort this winter.

The Bowra Group will be managing the wilderness and ski resort  east of Vancouver while it clears the $4.2 million debt accumulated by the owners, a company called Gibsons Pass.

"It's business as usual," said Bowra Group president David Bowra on Friday morning. "We will open on time. We are told the snow conditions are better than they have been in the last 15 years."

The resort's cross-country ski area is scheduled to open Dec. 5, and the downhill runs are to open on Dec. 18.

Gibsons Pass had a lengthy contract to run the year-round resort for the provincial government, but they managed to accumulate too much debt to keep the small company viable, said Bowra.

Millions owed, campgrounds lost

"Historically, the company had a lot of campground bundles it managed, and it lost several of those in past years through failing to pay its dues to the province," said Bowra. "So, that had a negative impact on overall revenues, and certainly on the bottom line as well.

"I'm told in its very best year it made a million dollars, and … I think there was one year going back a few years where there was literally no snow, and I'm sure the company lost money."

Suppliers are owed $1 million, the Canada Revenue Agency is owed $700,000 and a bank is owed $2.5 million, he said.

Bowra said that's a lot of debt for a small operation, but he is confident he can return Manning Park to profitability and then turn the resort over to another management company.   

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