Vail Resorts execs offered stock options |

Vail Resorts execs offered stock options

Cliff Thompson
Directors and company officers of Vail Resorts last week were offered stock options for 472,000 shares of company stock.

Directors and company officers of Vail Resorts last week were offered stock options for 472,000 shares of company stock. The stock options are standard compensation for officers and directors of the company, spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said.

“We view that as an incentive for employees to own stock so they have an investment in the company,” Ladyga said. “That way they’re invested and can help it to perform.”

Options, if acquired will be wholly owned, or vested, in three years. If the stock was purchased and sold Wednesday, each share would be worth 93 cents. Vail Resorts stock price was selling for $15.66 a share at market close Wednesday. The market was closed Thanksgiving Day.

Vail Resorts stock at initial public offering in 1997 was selling for $22 a share and reached a high of $32 a share in February 1998 and low of $12.23 in February.

Vail Resorts CEO and chairman Adam Aron was offered 142,500 shares of stock, 22,500 or which are common stock. If he exercises his option to purchase the stock, he’ll hold 264,300 shares.

The options are offered annually to the top 100 managers and directors in Vail Resorts who did not receive a performance-based bonus last year.

“It’s what we’ve been doing every year,” Ladyga said.

Company-wide, a 2 percent across-the-board increase in pay was granted employees this year.

Company officers received the following: Roger McCarthy, chief operating officer at Breckenridge was presented options for 42,500 shares of stock; Bill Jensen, chief operating officer at Vail, 42,500; newly appointed Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Jones, 47,000; Edward Mace, president of RockResorts, 35,000; John Garnsey, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Beaver Creek, 20,000; Blaise Carrig, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Heavenly, 20,000; Martha Rehm, senior vice president and general counsel, 25,000; James Thompson, president of Vail Resorts Development company, 35,000; and James Mandel, senior vice president Vail Resorts Development Company, 20,000.

Members of Vail Resorts Board of Directors including James Tisch, Roland Hernandez, Joe Micheleto, Robert Katz, Frank Biondi, Thomas Lee and Marc Rowan were offered options for 5,000 shares of stock while directors William Stiritz and William Mack were offered 2,500.

The offerings come just weeks after Vail Resorts announced it failed to make a profit last year – the first time in 10 years the company has been unprofitable.

The company’s year-end financial report showed it lost $14 million ($8.5 after taxes) – in its fiscal 2002-2003 year, on revenue of $710 million.

Aron this year received $8 million in bonuses offered in 2000, as an incentive to remain at the helm, after the company posted record profits. Those bonuses vested, or became legally his, in August. They included cash, property and club memberships.

Aron earlier in the year sold some of his company stock to meet the income tax obligation created by the bonus.

Cliff Thompson can be reached at 970-949-0555 x450 or

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