Intrawest originally was brought in by the Solitude owner (Gary DeSeelhorst) to develop three condominimum buildings (Powderhorn, Eagle Springs East, and Eagle Springs West) and the village build out. They did that. It is likely that they wanted to gain a part or all of the operations but that did not come to pass in any way shape or form. As they completed the 3rd building (Eagle Springs West) they started to pull their presence from the village. They are now gone. They have decided to auction off the rest of the units as a way to quickly capture what capital potential they have left there and completely be out of the village.
Rentals this year at Solitude have climbed appreciably. Units have been at a high rate of occupancy for most of the season with essentially complete rentals over the holidays. From that perspective Solitude seems to really be taking off.
I don't think Solitude will ever be crowded. They have decided not to cater to local crowds and are working to attract destination skiers to fill the villlage. With the development that has occured parking has actually been lost so there are very finite limits on how many local skiers can get there at busy times. (Over Christmas the lots were full with overflow parking on Big Cottonwood Canyon to the very small extent possible). This is the nature of Solitude.
Many owners there finally see the place turning around in a financial sense. After the auction there will be no new units left (which Intrawest has been offering with sizable discounts such as all howeowners and village fees paid for the first 2 or more years). At that point it seems like a true real estate market for resale will develop in Solitude and combined with the increased occupancies, return visits, etc. it seems like it may do quite well.
Solitude is a niche resort. There are very few places like it. A few good restaraunt options (Creekside, St Bernard's, Silverfork Lodge), a bar, and a little bit of retail (also a yurt dining experience). With time there will probably be another shop or two and perhaps a couple more restaurant options but not much more. It attracts people who want great snow, good (great if you are a good skier who knows the mountain well) terrain, no lift lines, a very family friendly environment (especially with Club Solitude), easy access to a big city and airport (as easy as it comes), and many other attributes (like unbelievable back country access - not a biggie for most). It is not a resort in the mold of the biggies most think about.
Certainly the owners pretty much all share their interest in this type of niche ski resort. Interestingly, almost 100% of visitors I talk to feel the same way. The option for a simple but beautiful little village, very nice accomodations, great snow, etc. but no big shopping or expanisve ski village or town and no huge night life is attractive to some but not all.
IMHO solitude is a niche resort that's going to make a great name for itself.