Vail Resorts is king once again this season as the ski destination giant reported a 3.7% jump in lift ticket revenue from the previous year. That total is especially surprising due to VR’s heavily leveraged positions in Colorado and California, both of whom had poor winters overall.
What’s most surprising is that while lift ticket prices went up, total skier visits were down on the whole, which will most likely effect food and beverage as well as retail sales negatively (*see below).
“We are pleased with our results as the 2017/2018 ski season concludes, particularly considering the historically low snowfall across our western U.S. resorts for much of the ski season. Conditions improved significantly in March and April across our resorts which supported stronger results that are in line with our expectations from our March 8, 2018 guidance. Our results throughout the 2017/2018 ski season highlight the stability provided by our season pass, the benefit of our geographic diversification and the success of our sophisticated, data-driven marketing efforts.”– Rob Katz, CEO Vail Resorts
Rob Katz noted that the addition of the Whistler Blackcomb market has been a boon for the company as evidenced in the increase in Epic Pass sales over the past year. Earlier this month, Bloomberg wrote a fantastic article on how Vail’s acquisition of Whistler has rubbed some locals the wrong way.
Vail resorts 17/18 Sales:
- Season-to-date total lift ticket revenue at the Company’s North American mountain resorts, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up 3.7% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
- Season-to-date ski school revenue was up 3.4% and dining revenue was down 1.4% compared to the prior year season-to-date period. Retail/rental revenue for North American resort store locations was down 4.2% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
- Season-to-date total skier visits for the Company’s North American mountain resorts were down 1.9% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
Find the entire Vail Resorts press release here: Vail Resorts Reports Certain Ski Season Metrics for the Season-to-Date Period Ended April 15, 2018