Intrawest businesses announced
Olympic Valley – Intrawest has announced the names of the first nine businesses that have signed leases in Phase I of the Village at Squaw Valley.
They are: Balboa Cafe Squaw Valley, same owners as the original Balboa Cafe on Fillmore Street in San Francisco; Plumpjack Sport, designer labels such as Prada Sport; Occhiali, an Italian eyewear company; Starbucks Coffee, mountain lodge style; Squaw Valley Clothing Company and Squaw 1 Accessories.
Local retailers in this first group include: Truckee’s Mountain Hardware, a “fine home elements” version; Yvette Beebe’s Y.B. Uglee, currently in the Boatworks Mall (Beebe toured with and did makeup for Janet Jackson); Wendy Wood’s Nantucket Natural Oils.
Michael Ferensowicz, the director of commercial development for Intrawest, said that six more businesses are on the verge of signing but would not release those names. There will be a total of 19 businesses in phase I and 23 businesses in phase II. Ferensowicz said that Intrawest took a different approach than most developers do when considering which businesses to include.
“Most commercial developers typically look only at finances, whereas we really look at the people,” he said. “We’re looking for terrific operators who can really wow our guests.”
Ferensowicz said that 50 percent of each phase will be restaurants. He would not specify what businesses are paying to lease space, but said that many businesses have been “pleasantly surprised.”
One local retailer who considered leasing space but eventually decided not to, said that Intrawest was taking 8 percent of sales over a certain amount and would only make a five-year commitment. He said that he felt Intrawest’s rates were reasonable, but said the lack of a guarantee after five years was worrisome since it would cost over $100,000 just to turn the space into a store, with shelves, walls, display cases, etcetera.
All the business owners spoken to said that they expect a lot of foot traffic and affluent customers.
“We think it’s going to be profitable, or we wouldn’t have done it,” said Greg Hovorka, owner of Mountain Hardware.
Yvette Beebe, the owner of Y.B. Uglee, said she is looking forward to the diversity of the clientele she expects at the new location.
“I don’t have any reservations about it,” Beebe said. “They’re not just going to be your everyday person that’s walking into the door. It’s going to be people from all over the world so I’ll get as much experience out of it as they will.”
For Phase II, Ferensowicz said that Intrawest will have a formal launch for interested businesses in September at their Discovery Center in Olympic Valley. He said there is a pretty long list of interested parties.
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