I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing a lot of news about Vail Resorts recently, and none of it seems that great for the company. A petition to hold Vail Resorts accountable for their treatment of customers and staff at Stevens Pass has reached over 38,700 signatures, Attitash and Wildcat locals have spoken out on the mismanagement of the mountains by the company, and ski patrollers at Park City are prepared to strike if negotiations continue to fail.
It seems, with all this, that Vail Resorts is taking somewhat of a hit in the stock market, and a Truist report published on January 4th outlines the issues that Vail may be facing when in comes to how they’re traded. According to Vail Daily, analysts C. Patrick Scholes, Alexander Barenklau and Gregory J. Miller are mainly concerned by the employee shortage, but also point out how Vail’s competitors are not seeing as intense of an issue.
“We believe MTN is experiencing severe labor issues that are negatively impacting the customer experience as evidence by news stories in the media, our private industry contacts, and countless social media postings. Labor issues are impacting lift openings/staffing, snow grooming, and F&B and retail operations, all compounded by Epic pass sales up 76% from the 2019/2020 ski season. On the other-hand, labor related issues are in general less of a major issue at competitors’ resorts, implying such severe issues may be more unique to MTN.”
Based on general customer opinions and reviews of Vail in recent weeks, this does seem to be a unique issue to Vail. Obviously, there’s a major global employee shortage, but I haven’t seen too many complaints about how Aspen is being run. An opinion piece in Vail Daily published on January 11th called for the company to sell, and leave the ski industry alone. Meanwhile, Epic Lift Lines has filled their Instagram story with customer complaints and calls to action. And on top of all this, Vail Resorts still won’t budge with the Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association, offering a $2/hr bonus to be given to all staff at the end of the season, which won’t help with housing or food concerns.
Vail Resorts is down 15% since October, despite the general stock market being up around 10% and most of the travel sector remaining rather steady.