Intrawest is moving its corporate headquarters from Vancouver to Denver by the end of 2011.

Company CEO Bill Jensen made the announcement in an internal memo to employees on Jan. 25.

Intrawest owns Blue Mountain in Ontario, Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia, Steamboat in Colorado, Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont, and Tremblant in Quebec, owns Canadian Mountain Holidays heli-adventures, operates Winter Park in Colorado, and also manages other resort hotels and properties.

Jensen's memo states: "Today, I announced to our Vancouver based employees that Intrawest will relocate its headquarters from Vancouver, British Columbia to the Greater Denver Area of Colorado by the end of calendar year 2011.

 "Given the geographic diversity of Intrawest's core businesses, relocating to a more geographically central location creates efficiencies that will benefit our overall business.  The relocation consolidates the strategic, corporate, and financial functions in one location.  With Shared Services and Intrawest's two largest resorts already in Colorado, this relocation is the logical next step to the continued growth of Intrawest, and is consistent with the Company's long-term business strategy. 

 "Corporate activities will relocate to Colorado in phases over several months with most corporate functions transitioning by December, 2011. In addition to Intrawest's Shared Service functions, the new headquarters will house Intrawest's senior management team, Intrawest's Real Estate Group as well as legal, human resources, information technology, strategic planning, accounting, finance, and treasury functions.

 "The relocation will not affect Club Intrawest or IRCG operations in Vancouver.  Club Intrawest and IRCG will continue to work from their Vancouver base.

 "I want to thank the corporate team for their professionalism and commitment to Intrawest.  They have been, and will continue to be, an important factor in Intrawest's success.  Their efforts are sincerely appreciated.

 "We anticipate that it will be "business as usual" for the next several months.  As transition plans and corresponding activities occur, we will communicate accordingly," the memo states.

Intrawest was founded in 1976 as an urban real estate developer in Vancouver, and in the 1980s began acquiring ski resorts. By the late 1990s Intrawest was the largest resort operator in North America, with resorts in California, Canada, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Vermont, and West Virginia.

In 2006, the company was bought by Fortress Investment Group for $2.8 billion, half of which was debt. Fortress missed a $524 million payment on that debt in 2009, starting a process of divestment that saw Intrawest sell its French Les Arcs resort and Copper Mountain that year, and last year Panorama Mountain Village in British Columbia, Sandestin beach resort in Florida, New Jersey's Mountain Creek ski area, a majority of its Whistler -Blackcomb ski area and its real estate holdings in the Village at Squaw in California.

More information.