Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vail Resorts Reports Third Quarter Results

Vail Resorts reported results for the third quarter of fiscal 2012 ended April 30, 2012 and the results of its spring pass sales for the 2012/2013 ski season.
Vail Resorts ski areas experienced historically low snowfall (with cumulative snowfall at our six resorts (excluding Kirkwood) down more than 50% over the prior ski season) and one of the mildest winters on record, including over the key spring break and Easter periods, which adversely impacted our skier visitation which was down 9.8% (with our Colorado and Tahoe resorts down 9.0% and 12.4%, respectively) for the three months ended April 30, 2012 compared to the same period in the prior year.  Despite these unprecedented conditions, revenues were generally stabilized by increased season pass sales, higher pricing and increased average guest spend.
Lift ticket revenue increased by 0.7% over the prior year and ancillary revenue from ski school and retail/rental was up 1.1% and 1.3%, respectively, while dining revenue was down 1.1% driving an 11.6% increase in total ancillary revenue per skier visit.
Total Mountain net revenue increased by 0.9% over the prior year with a 9.8% decline in skier visits more than offset by a 12.8% increase in season pass revenue and a 9.4% increase in Effective Ticket Price (“ETP”) excluding season pass holders.
Mountain Reported EBITDA increased 0.6% and Resort Reported EBITDA (which includes the Company’s Mountain and Lodging segments) decreased by 0.5% from the prior year.
Commenting on the Company’s fiscal 2012 third quarter results, Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer said, "We are pleased with our third quarter results as they evidenced our ability to successfully navigate the most challenging winter in the history of the United States ski industry. Cumulative snowfall levels for the 2011/2012 ski season were down more than 50% across our resorts, compared with the prior year, and snowfall at our Colorado resorts was down more than 70% in March. The lack of snow, combined with unseasonable temperatures, affected visitation levels during the key spring break and Easter vacation periods. Yet, despite these unprecedented conditions, we delivered an approximate 1% increase in Mountain Reported EBITDA in the third quarter compared with the prior year. This performance demonstrates the stability and resiliency of our business model, which benefitted from our growing season pass business, as well as the quality of our resorts and the breadth of the experience we offer, which attracted guests throughout the season".
Continuing on the third quarter performance, Katz added "There were several positive indicators in the third quarter that contributed to our performance and bode well as we look toward the 2012/2013 ski season. Our Mountain net revenue increased 0.9% to $354.6 million as higher spending per skier visit, improved lift ticket pricing and strong season pass revenue more than offset the decline in skier visits. Lift ticket revenue increased 0.7% during the quarter despite a drop of 9.8% in visitation benefitting from a 12.8% increase in season pass revenue and a 9.4% gain in ETP, excluding season pass holders. On a per visit basis, our ski school revenue per visit increased 12.1%, dining revenue per visit was higher by 9.7% and retail/rental revenue per visit was up 12.3%, reflecting the high income demographic of our resort guests enabling us to benefit from enhanced consumer spending, especially in the luxury segment, as well as from our international guests. Over the course of the 2011/2012 ski season, our international visitation increased by approximately 2%, despite a 12.1% decline in total visitation and continued challenges in the European economy, reflecting targeted marketing efforts to drive more visits from this growing international segment. For the full 2011/2012 ski season, visitation at our Tahoe resorts declined 22.4% compared to the prior year, while our Colorado resorts were down 8.9% with Beaver Creek essentially flat reflecting its higher mix of luxury and destination guests. Our season passholders, representing arguably our most weather sensitive guests, skied only approximately one day less, on average, in the current ski season compared to the prior year. Overall season pass revenue represented approximately 40% of our total lift ticket revenue for the winter season. Also during the third quarter we leveraged our strong balance sheet, acquiring a third Tahoe resort, Kirkwood, with early indications that this unique resort should prove to be highly complementary to our existing portfolio and pass programs. Finally, I could not be more pleased to report that total spring season pass sales, which include sales through Tuesday May 29, 2012 compared to sales through Tuesday May 31, 2011 and including Kirkwood pass sales in both years, were up approximately 17% in units and approximately 22% in sales dollars. These sales, which will be recorded as revenue in the second and third quarters of fiscal 2013, provide perhaps the strongest indicator we have seen for the upcoming 2012/2013 ski season".
Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. Vail Resorts operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the GrandTeton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resorthotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estateplanning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly heldcompany traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

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