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Profitable quarterexpected from Vail Resorts

Cliff Thompson
NWS Industry6 3-21 CS Daily file photo A snowboarder hits a kicker in the Zoom Room Terrain Park at Beaver Creek in this file photo. Vail Resorts Tuesday expects to announce the company had a profitable winter and, potentially, a second-straight record-breaking year at Beaver Creek.
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Vail Resorts on Tuesday is expected to announce it had a profitable 2004 ski season when it releases its third quarter earnings results.It was a ski season that was driven by the return of free-spending destination skiers to the company’s five ski resorts and adequate snow conditions. The third quarter is typically the company’s most profitable, because it occurs during the heart of ski season/

In its second quarter earnings report, Vail Resorts chief executive Adam Aron said Beaver Creek appeared poised to set record for skiers. Vail Mountain, based on the town of Vail’s 4 percent lift ticket tax and sales tax receipts, appears also to have had a good season. The town’s sales tax collections through April were up over last year by 6.8 percent while lift ticket tax receipts showed an 8 percent increase over war-worried 2003.On top of that the company trimmed its staff and cut more than $25 million in expenses over the last year.

While it did not make money in its second quarter, which runs from October to Dec. 31 – which is typical – it did lose less than anticipated, indicating its revenues were stronger than in past second quarters.Last year the company announced it has lost $14.5 million on $710 million in revenue. The war with Iraq and a national recession were blamed for causing travelers to stay at home, particularly in the spring, which hurt lodging- and mountain-related revenue for the company. But its third and smallest division, real estate sales, had a record year.



The stock market, however, has remained unimpressed with the company’s performance. Its stock at the close of trading Thursday was priced at $15.57, $5.43 less than its initial offering price in 1997 of $21.Cliff Thompson can be contacted via e-mail at cthompson@vaildaily.com or by calling 949-0555 ext. 450.


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