Our View: Vail Resorts purchases drive success, expand options (editorial)
June 5, 2018
News this week that Vail Resorts plans to purchase four more resorts — Crested Butte, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire and Stevens Pass Resort in Washington — has been greeted about the way you'd expect: with a combination of excitement and leariness.
The leariness is obvious in online and social media comments about the news. Vail Resorts is the "Walmart of skiing," some wrote. Others wrote about the eventual ruination of unique ski towns under the company's umbrella.
That's about what you'd expect from the company's persistent critics, many of whom complain first about the way the company treats its front-line workers. Virtually any big company can always do better when it comes to taking care of the people who work closely with the public or on other, lower, rungs of the corporate ladder.
On the other hand, one of the primary goals of any publicly traded company is to create value for its stockholders. On that front, the company has been a roaring success over the past few years.
Looking back five years, Vail Resorts' closing stock price on June 7, 2013, was $63.89 per share.
The closing stock price on June 5 of this year was $255.69 per share.
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By that measure, the company's stock has wildly out-performed the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the same period. Vail Resorts' stock value is 400 percent of what it was five years ago. The basket of stocks in the Dow is worth 165 percent of its value in June of 2013.
It's good to own Vail Resorts stock.
It's also good to be an Epic Pass holder. People who buy those passes have had an ever-increasing number of places to ski over the past five years, including Park City, Whistler Blackcomb and a host of smaller resorts. The new options have helped to drive season pass sales, a substantial part of the company's revenues
It's true that Vail Resorts doesn't have the personal presence it once did in the Vail Valley. And, yes, big companies can be more difficult to deal with on a community level.
But the fact is that the company is successful and is pouring millions into on-mountain improvements and impressive environmental initiatives, literally from coast to coast. That's ultimately good for the communities in which the company does business.
Think of the company what you will, but it's hard to argue with success. It's also hard to argue with being able to use your Epic Pass in so many places, from Vail to Crested Butte to Whistler to Stowe.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Krista Driscoll and Business Editor Scott Miller.