Len Barrie: Debt of a Salesman

Hey, so -- everything's just fine up at Bear Mountain Resort. Yes, we know they had to close the real estate sales office in Langford. But it's OK! Len's cutting costs -- by reducing sales and advertising and customers and staff and revenue. Lean and mean, that's the new Bear Mountain machine!

Anyway, most of Bear Mountain is about to get sold, for a million billion dollars. This time, for real! None of us knows anything, but we are absolutely breathless with anticipation.

And yes, we know Bear Mountain hasn't paid the $4.9 million it owes for the Langford highway interchange, a bill that's been overdue since March 2009. But that's OK! Langford's city council doesn't care if or when Len pays the money. They can always borrow more, or get the taxpayers to pay, or get the new owners to cover it, or something. Len has plenty of other debts that are much more important than a measly municipal government, so shut up and get in line.

We do realize there's ten thousand lawsuits* pending against Len Barrie and Bear Mountain, but never mind that. That's normal for an edgy, hard-hitting business guy and ex-hockey dude. It's good for the economy -- keeps the lawyers at work. So shut up about that too, while you're at it.

In fact, all you complainers can stuff a sock in it. Len Barrie has plenty of friends. He doesn't need you. Unless you have a million billion dollars -- in that case, please get in touch ASAP.

*Plus or minus 9,980 or so. We can't keep count.


  1. When we use up all there is on this earth, we'll finally realize we can't eat money.

  2. I feel sorry for Len. As his empire collapses, his "friends" are already in behind the scenes picking away at the bones.

    I doubt that we will see him again in town. He will join the long list of "developers" welcomed into our fine town with open arms only to be later driven out by the very people who started the ball rolling in the first place. Remember all of those people who told Bear Mountain was a sure bet and that they could help you make it a success?

    No money for you Len but rest assured lots of others made a small fortune at your expense.

  3. Bear Mountain partnership placed under creditor protection today


    Len Barrie, President and CEO of Bear mountain Resort announced that the Bear Mountain Master Partnership is donating land valued over $1 million for the building of the very first Ronald McDonald Family Retreat in North America. (Oct. 10, 2007)
    Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist
    VICTORIA — The Bear Mountain Master Partnership is under creditor protection as the ownership group behind Bear Mountain Resort and the residential development on Skirt Mountain tries to work out a deal with one of its lenders.

    Today in Supreme Court, the partnership was placed under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act which will hold off any creditor action while the group attempts to reach an agreement with lender HSBC Bank Canada.

    “This is a step to protect the project and the investors,” said Len Barrie, Bear Mountain CEO in an interview. “We have deals in place with all of our other lenders, this is just about HSBC and we need work on a positive resolution over the next period of time to make HSBC happy and get building again.”

    Barrie said the partnership owes HSBC in excess of $200 million.

    The CEO also pointed out he has been working for the last four months to refinance the 500-hectare development straddling Highlands and Langford.

    “We have new investment we will be bringing forward,” he said, noting there are currently four different groups negotiating to buy into the development. “We thought we would have six months to do it, but I think we’ll now have to do it over the next 30-to-90-day period and I’m confident we’ll get something done that is a good resolution for everybody and more importantly get money to build and go forward.”

    According to Barrie the deals being talked about range from straight refinancing to swapping debt for equity in the development.

    “One of the reasons to (opt into CCAA protection) is it will be a fair process,” he said. “This will bring a mediator between (the partnership and HSBC) and do what’s best for the project to move it forward.”

    The court has appointed Prowis Inc. as the chief restructuring officer for Bear Mountain and PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed as monitor.

    In a statement obtained by the Times Colonist, the Bear Mountain Master Partnership said it will be business as usual for customers and suppliers during the restructuring period.

    It added there will be “no interruption to the large number of events that are planned to take place, including all conference reservations, golf tournaments and the esteemed TELUS World Skins Game to be held June 21 and 22. The company’s bank has indicated that it will provide continued support during the restructuring.”

    Calls to HSBC had not been returned by 1 p.m. Thursday.

    In the past two years, the Bear Mountain partnership has been close to selling parts of the development.

    There were rumours in February that a deal had been completed, while another deal rumoured to be worth close to $350 million was scuttled last year — that deal was for the residential component of the development and future development potential of the area.

    The agreement would have seen the Bear Mountain Master Partnership, which has 17 investors, including former NHL players such as Mike Vernon and Joe Nieuwendyk and current players Ray Whitney, Ryan Smyth and Rob Blake, hold onto the two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses and the resort's luxury hotel.

    Barrie, the majority shareholder of the partnership, has estimated the entire development, which is expected to include more than 3,500 homes when it's fully built out in 20 years, could be worth $2.5 billion.

    He said there’s no way at this point to say what the ownership structure will look like until they reach a deal with one of the four groups currently at the table looking to buy in and have emerged from CCAA protection.

  4. Len , Stew, and the Langford Boys in bed since the beginning. Wait till Rev Can takes a good look. Who's Standing in the end?