Vail Eyes Asian Expansion | Epic Vs. Ikon Heads To Japan

Vail Eyes Asian Expansion | Epic Vs. Ikon Heads To Japan

Japan

Vail Eyes Asian Expansion | Epic Vs. Ikon Heads To Japan

Photo: senngokujidai4434 | Cover: Roderick Eime

“We see Japan as the likely first stop from new emerging skiers,” in China, India and Southeast Asia, Vail Chief Executive Officer Robert Katz said in an interview in Vancouver. “Those markets are going to be where the vast majority of all new skiers are created over the next decade.”Bloomberg

The proverbial King of the Hill, Vail Resorts racked up an impressive amount of acquisitions across the United States this past winter and not so surprisingly– the resort is eyeing Asia as their next big market.

Related: Ikon Pass Adds Japan Powder Mecca, Niseko United

The focus to invest capital outside of the United States and Canada is driven by the plan to tap into the ever-growing Australian and Asian markets over the coming decades. As the ski industry suffers from dwindling attendance in North America, many large companies see Asia as a solution to their growth problem. Vail Resorts picked up Perisher in Australia and Whistler in British Columbia to test those markets and apparently it’s going VERY WELL.

So is the Vail buying spree temporarily on hold in the United States?

Vail Resorts stock is currently hovering at $282 and after a year of 37% growth, we aren’t holding our breath. That said we do think Vail’s next step will be in Asia, not America.

With Niseko United in hand for Alterra, the potential players for a Vail acquisition include Rusutsu, Kiroro, and Hakuba Valley of which they already have a partnership deal. Our guess would be Hakuba Valley as its proximity to Tokyo via bullet train is pretty undeniable from a ‘heads in beds’ perspective.

Find the entire Bloomberg article here: Vail CEO Eyes Japan Resort Acquisition in Bid to Lure New Skiers

 

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