Revenue up, skier visits down for Vail Resorts
BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts reported modest increases in revenue for the ski season through Sunday compared to last year, with a slight drop in skier visits across the company’s nine mountain resorts.
The latest season metrics compared this season to the prior year period through April 20, 2014, adjusted as if Park City was owned in both periods. The reported ski season metrics did not incorporate the urban ski areas of Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton. The data is subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustment.
Highlights from the report include:
• Season-to-date total lift revenue at the company’s nine mountain resorts, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up 8.5 percent compared to the prior year.
• Season-to-date ancillary spending outpaced skier visitation, with ski school revenue up 3.4 percent and dining revenue up 3.3 percent at the company’s nine mountain resorts compared to the prior year. Additionally, retail/rental revenue for resort store locations was up 3.8 percent.
• Season-to-date total skier visits for the company’s nine mountain resorts were down 2.8 percent compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
“We are very pleased with our results as the 2014-15 ski season comes to its conclusion,” said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz. “This was a challenging year, with snowfall in Tahoe at record lows and Utah experiencing abnormally warm and dry conditions this spring. However, we were able to overcome these challenges through the strength of our season pass program and data-driven marketing efforts, by providing a comprehensive world-class destination experience, by attracting high-income guests from around the world and through growth in our ski school, dining and retail businesses.
“Our lift revenue growth of 8.5 percent significantly outpaced visitation as a result of the benefit of our season pass program that secured significant revenue in advance of the season and mitigated the volatility of results and by expanding yields through increasingly sophisticated pricing, promotion and distribution strategies. We remain comfortable with the latest guidance we issued March 12, though we are likely to finish the year in the lower half of the range, given the further deterioration in conditions we faced this spring in Utah and Tahoe.”
Katz said that 2015-16 season pass sales are already underway.
“The breadth of our season pass collection, led by the Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass, remain the most compelling value for skiers and riders in the United States and from around the world,” he said. “To date, we have seen strong overall results with significant continued growth in sales to our destination markets and good momentum in Colorado and Utah, offsetting some expected declines in Tahoe.”