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Nearly $100M owed to five creditors of delayed Squamish resort project

The project is backed by the families that own the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars
A rendering of the Garibaldi at Squamish ski resort project, which was estimated to cost $3.5 billion in 2016. | PWL Landscape Architects/Garibaldi at Squamish

The two companies behind a delayed ski and snowboard resort near Squamish owe $99.5 million to five creditors.

That is according to a Dec. 14 list published by Ernst & Young, the court-appointed receiver for Garibaldi at Squamish Inc. (GAS Inc.) and Garibaldi at Squamish LP (GAS LP).

“The receiver will seek to undertake a sales solicitation process for the property with a view of maximizing recovery to stakeholders,” said the Dec. 14 document. 

It also said that Garibaldi’s most recent financial statements date back to Dec. 31, 2021 and show no cash, but an $80-million book value for property under development.

The project is backed by the families that own the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars. 

Company registrations for the three secured creditors all include Roberto Aquilini as director: Aquilini Development LP, Garibaldi Resort Management Co. Ltd. and 1413994 B.C. Ltd. 

GAS Inc. and GAS LP owe them a combined $79.4 million.

Until June 2022, Garibaldi Resort Management’s directors included David Negrin. In 2016, Negrin left the presidency of Aquilini Investment Group and Aquilini Development and Construction to become CEO of MST Development Corp., the real estate partnership of the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. 

The two unsecured creditors are Northland Properties Ltd. and Garibaldi Resorts (2002) Ltd., who are owed $6.37 million and $13.8 million, respectively. 

Northland Properties owns Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Grouse Mountain. Founder and chairman Bob Gaglardi is also president of Garibaldi Resorts (2002) Ltd., the company whose secretary is Aquilini Investment Group founder Luigi Aquilini. 

The registration lists his mailing address in Brescia, Italy, the Aquilinis’ ancestral home.  

When he approved the receivership application on Dec. 4, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker set Jan. 15 as the next court date.

GAS Inc. was established in 2001 to develop a resort on Squamish Nation land at Brohm Ridge. The 2016 provincial environmental approval for the estimated $3.5 billion project was extended in 2021 with a January 2026 deadline to begin construction. 

GAS Inc. board minutes filed in the receivership process indicate a split between directors affiliated with Aquilini and Northland.

GAS Inc. chairman Jim Chu and director Bill Aujla, both Aquilini executives, denied they are in conflict of interest. 

GAS Inc. defaulted on $65 million owing to the three Aquilini companies, prompting the September receivership petition. 

“However no construction has been commenced,” the court petition said. “GAS and the project generate no income and are entirely dependent on third party funding.”