by Ian Hawkins

ian-portraitThe Village at Blue Mountain was very alive on September 14, with the usual weekend visitors enjoying the live music playing as the stream of Centurion riders finished their rides. A few days ago, Blue Mountain and Intrawest announced that the Weider and Canning families had sold their remaining ownership of Blue Mountain Resort to Intrawest.

On a personal level, I had the privilege of being introduced to the management team at Blue Mountain in 1988. Since then, my real estate career has been built upon the mentorship of many great business people affiliated with the many facets of Blue Mountain Resorts.

George and Barbara Weider and their family, Gord and Kathy Canning, the McGillvrays, Humph and Anna, and names like Kadwell, Travis, McNichol and Eagleson afforded me many opportunities that, in turn, opened many doors and enabled me to meet hundreds of great people and families, many of whom have become lifelong friends.

In 1991, I was given an unprecedented offer of opening a real estate office in the Monterra Pavilion, with a small backlit sign that Gord Canning referred to as the “real estate light in the window”.  It was during this time I learned the intricacies of condominiums, rental programs, Monterra Estates, architectural guidelines and so much more.

I have such a debt of gratitude to the Weider and Canning families, for my career and also for the generosity afforded to my family. From being invited to staff parties, to my children to learning to ski at Blue Mountain, to meeting my wife Tania (who starting skiing at Blue as soon as she could walk and from there moved on to became a Ski Patroller and Patrol Leader at Blue Mountain).  For me and my family, the memories are endless.

Prior to Intrawest building the Village at Blue, I recall the time I had a real estate enquiry from a business person wanting to build an Outlet Mall where the Village stands.  That memory stands the test of time along with so many others, memories that provided an opportunity for me to learn from people entrusted to build the legacy that stands today.

During these recent days, the words “end of an era” have been spoken may times. The years of shepherding the growth of Blue Mountain resort by these great families will never be taken for granted. The impetus to create a world-class destination, I believe, is the main reason the Georgian Triangle is such an active lifestyle region.

Thank you to both of the Weider and Canning Families. It has been a great ride for the Hawkins Family!

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