Vail Resorts releases data from the early ski season
Lift revenue was up across the company despite scarce early-season snow at Whistler Blackcomb
Vail Resorts has reported some data for the comparative periods from the beginning of the ski season through Jan. 5, 2020, and for the prior year period through Jan. 6, 2019.
The reported ski season metrics are for the company’s North American destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including the results of Peak Resorts in both periods and excluding the results of the firm’s Australian ski areas in both periods.
The data mentioned in Friday’s release is interim period data and is subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustments.
- Season-to-date total lift ticket revenue, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up .4% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
- Season-to-date ski school revenue was up 2% and dining revenue was down 3.6% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
- Retail/rental revenue for North American resort and ski area store locations was down 1.8% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
- Season-to-date total skier visits were down 7.8% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
In the release, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz was quoted as saying, “Relative to the strong conditions in the prior year, the 2019/2020 North American ski season got off to a slower start, impacting both our local and destination guest visitation in the pre-holiday period through December 19, 2019. Excluding Whistler Blackcomb and Stevens Pass, results improved over the holiday period between Dec. 20, 2019, and Jan. 5, 2020, compared to the prior year holiday period, delivering growth in total skier visitation and across all revenue lines which was in line with our expectations.”
Given the strong conditions last year, Vail Resorts’ initial guidance for fiscal year 2020 incorporated the possibility of a slower start to the season. While challenging results at Whistler Blackcomb and Stevens Pass have put downward pressure on overall results, the company expects resort reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for fiscal year 2020 to be within the guidance range issued on Sept. 26, 2019, given strong season pass sales, results through the holiday period and the recently improved conditions at Whistler Blackcomb and Stevens Pass.
The company’s guidance assumes continued normal conditions at the resorts, a continuation of the current economic environment and the foreign currency rates in place when the guidance was originally issued.
The reported ski season metrics include growth for season pass revenue based on estimated fiscal 2020 North American season pass revenue compared to fiscal 2019 North American season pass revenue. The metrics include all North American destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including Peak Resorts as if its regional ski areas were owned in both periods, and are adjusted to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying current period exchange rates to the prior period for Whistler Blackcomb’s results.