Monday, June 25, 2018

SkiStar Reports First 9 Months of 2017-2018 Results

Fantastic Winter Season brings increased revenue and record results for SkiStar.
Revenue for the first nine months was SEK 2,352 (2,216) million, an increase of SEK 136 (6 percent) compared with the previous year. Profit after tax was SEK 603 (537) million, an increase of SEK 66 million (12 percent) compared with the previous year.
Revenue from ski resort operations for the nine-month period was SEK 2,259 (2,002) million, an increase of 13 percent. SkiPass revenue was SEK 1,315 (1,153) million, an increase of SEK 162 million, or 14 percent. Operating profit for ski resort operations increased by SEK 148 million to SEK 647 (499) million. Sold accommodation, expressed as the number of overnight stays, increased by 2.5 percent compared with the previous year.
The number of skier days (one day’s skiing with a SkiPass) was 5.8 million, an increase of more than 7 percent from the previous year. The improved results are mainly due to the increased guest volume. Not only our holiday periods but also focus on areas such as Valle’s Winter Weeks in January and SkiStar Business’ conference activities show continuing growth.
Åre’s traditional closing event, the Winter Finale, looks to become the ski festival to end all ski festivals. The venture with the Åre Sessions music festival and many top artist names is attracting record numbers. Last year’s record has now been beaten, with SkiPass sales in SkiStar’s booking statistics for 23 April 2018 showing an increase of 33% compared with the previous year’s closing event.

SkiStar is listed on the Nasdaq Mid Cap, Stockholm. The Group owns and operates alpine destinations in Sälen, Åre, Vemdalen and Hammarbybacken (Stockholm) in Sweden, Hemsedal and Trysil in Norway and St. Johann in Tirol in Austria. Market share is 50% in Sweden, 31% in Norway and 41% in Scandinavia. The Group’s core business is alpine skiing, with a focus on the guests’ overall skiing experience. Operations are divided into three segments; Ski Resorts – Operation, Infrastructure, and Exploitation. As the leading operator of European Alpine destinations, SkiStar’s business concept is to provide memorable winter experiences, offering value for guests, employees and other interested parties, which, in turn, creates value for our shareholders. The Group’s business model and fundamental strategy are based on offering the entire range of accommodation at all of SkiStar’s destinations through one distribution channel, thereby ensuring a high occupancy level and providing the conditions to maximize the sale of SkiPasses.
SkiStar is also official title sponsor to the 2019 Alpine World Championships in Åre.
From its foundation in 1975 until 2001 the company was called Sälenstjärnan AB. That year the Group adopts the name SkiStar AB.
SkiStar is one of the partners in the Scandinavian Mountains Airport. Located between Sälen and Trysil the first aircraft are expected to touch down in winter 2019-2020.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

FIS Alpine Skiing: A Glance Back at the 2017-2018 Winter Season. Mikaela Shiffrin & Marcel Hirscher Grabs the Overall Globe

Marcel Hirscher and Mikaela Shiffrin were the biggest globe winners this season, collecting five titles between the two of them.


1st Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) 1773
2nd Wendy Holdener (SUI) 1168
3rd Viktoria Rebensburg (GER) 977


1st Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 1620 
2nd Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) 1285
3rd  Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 886

For the second time in her career, Mikaela Shiffrin claimed the Overall World Cup title. The American mathematically clinched her Overall crystal at the Ofterschwang Giant Slalom on March 9th. This season she claimed her fifth slalom globe.

Mikaela Shiffin was Born in Vail, Colorado, on March 13, 1995.

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Starts: 6
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Podiums 4
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Victories: 3

Olympic Winter Games Starts: 5
Olympic Winter Games Medals 3
Olympic Winter Games Victories (1st in Slalom in Sochi 2014, 1st in Giant Slalom in PyeongChang 2018)

FIS World Cup Starts: 131
FIS World Cup Podiums: 62
FIS World Cup Victories: 43 

Marcel Hirscher wrote alpine skiing history by winning the Overall globe for the seventh time in a row. No one ever achieved this feat. Incredibly solid and constant in the tech disciplines and in a great shape throughout the whole season, the Austrian impressed and became the greatest World Cup skier ever.
Marcel Hirscher has enjoyed his best ever alpine skiing season after he finally added Olympic Winter Games gold medals to the successful defense of his FIS World Cup Overall, giant slalom, and slalom titles.
The Austrian's season looked in danger after a preseason ankle injury, however, he recovered brilliantly to win an incredible 15 races out of the 24 in which he started.
The Austrian mathematically clinched her Overall crystal at the Kranjska Gora Slalom on March 4th.
Marcel Hirscher collected his fifth career slalom and GS globes.

Born in Annaberg-Lungötz, Salzburg, on March 2, 1989. Hirscher made his World Cup debut in March 2007.

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Starts: 12
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Podiums: 7
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Victories: 4

Olympic Winter Games Starts: 7
Olympic Winter Games Medals: 3
Olympic Winter Games Victories 2 (1st in Alpine Combined and Giant Slalom in PyeongChang 2018)

FIS World Cup Starts: 223
FIS World Cup Podiums: 123. On January 7th, 2017 Hirscher achieved his 100th podium from 191 starts (a ratio of 52.3%) with a 2nd place finish in the Giant slalom in Adelboden.
FIS World Cup Victories: 58

Friday, June 15, 2018

Colorado Ski Areas Hosts 7.1 Million Skier Visits in 2017-2018

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) announced at its 55th Annual Meeting in downtown Denver skier visits at its now 24-member ski resorts tallied 7.1 million during the 2017-18 winter season. This year’s total is just slightly ahead of the five-year average. Visits finished only 2 percent lower than in 2016-17.
"These end of season numbers are impressive when looking back over the entire season", Colorado Ski Country USA President and CEO Melanie Mills said. "We faced historically low snowfall in the early part of the season and resort operations crews deserve credit for their tireless work to get slopes open and operating during an extended period of early-season conditions".
Mother Nature delivered timely storms during the December holiday period and significant snow totals in advance of both Martin Luther King and President’s Day weekends before the weather system settled into a more consistent snowy pattern in mid-February. March was a busy month across the state with spring breakers traveling from near and far to enjoy deep snow totals and warm bluebird days with resorts seeing strong monthly visitation totals. Many resorts experienced their best snow conditions in late March and early April and welcomed guests over the well-timed Easter holiday.
"Timely storms before the busy holiday weekends marked the middle of the season before the snow switch turned fully to on in February", continued Mills. "There was exuberant pent-up demand and skiers and snowboarders flocked to the slopes in the latter half of the season, allowing resorts to finish on a strong note".
"This year’s season won’t be remembered as the state’s snowiest, but it is a testament to the resiliency of Colorado’s ski industry and our employees’ commitment to providing the highest guest service and best overall ski experience that keeps visitors coming back to Colorado Ski Country resorts every year", Mills concluded. "We are looking forward to an exciting summer season with events, festivals and increased on-mountain options for guests as well as significant investment across the state before next winter season including new lifts, a new mountain coaster, new restaurants, and other improvements".
Additional highlights from the 2017-18 season included successful Olympic qualifiers at Copper Mountain and Aspen Snowmass in the leadup to the 2018 PyeongChang Games. CSCUSA also welcomed two new members, Echo Mountain outside of Idaho Springs and Kendall Mountain in Silverton, CO. Both ski areas are on the popular 5th and 6th grade Passport Program and Gems Card.
Skier visits are the metric used to track participation in skiing and snowboarding. A skier visit represents a person participating in the sport of skiing or snowboarding for any part of one day at a mountain resort. These numbers are preliminary results and subject to final adjustment by CSCUSA members.

Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) is a not-for-profit trade association which represents 24 ski and snowboard resorts in Colorado. CSCUSA is the global voice of the Colorado ski industry. The association’s primary functions are concentrated in marketing, public policy and public relations.
Founded in 1965, Colorado Ski Country USA has been instrumental in the marketing, public relations and legislative efforts that have propelled the Colorado ski industry to success. Today, Colorado hosts between 20 and 25 percent of all skier visits in the U.S. annually, with CSCUSA member resorts accounting for more than 7 million skier visits a year. The winter sports industry generates nearly $5 billion of economic activity annually in Colorado.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Vail Resorts Reports Fiscal 2018 Third Quarter Results and Early Season Pass Sales Results

Vail Resorts reported results for its third quarter ended April 30, 2018, as well as the Company's results of its early season pass sales for the 2018/2019 North American ski season.
Commenting on the Company's fiscal 2018 third quarter results, Rob Katz, chief executive officer said, "We are pleased with our performance in the quarter and for the full 2017/2018 North American ski season, particularly given the challenging weather conditions across the western U.S. for much of the season. Our performance demonstrates the resiliency of our business model, the stability provided by our geographically diverse resort network and the importance of increased advanced purchase products, including our season passes. Our improved results in the third fiscal quarter also underscore the strength of the high-end consumer's demand for ski vacations once conditions improved across our network.
Mountain revenue increased 7.1% for the third fiscal quarter compared to the same period in the prior year, with lift revenue growing 7.9%, primarily as a result of strong season pass sales for the 2017/2018 North American ski season and the inclusion of Stowe, which was partially offset by lower non-pass lift revenue at our western U.S. resorts. Total visitation, including Stowe, grew 6.4% for the third fiscal quarter compared to the prior year period. Whistler Blackcomb experienced excellent conditions and achieved another season of record results. As conditions improved across the western U.S. in the second half of the ski season, overall skier visits rebounded sharply despite total snowfall remaining significantly below the long-term average at many of our western U.S. resorts
Katz continued, "With our winter season behind us, we are pleased that our year-to-date results delivered growth over the prior year despite the very challenging conditions in the first half of the season. We believe this highlights the continued success of our season pass and guest-focused marketing efforts, the importance of geographic diversification in our resort network and the outstanding experience we provide at our resorts. We also continue to benefit from our improved ability to target and personalize our marketing messages to guests, resulting from the significant investments we have made in data capture and data-driven marketing capabilities over the past several years".

Mountain Segment
  • Total lift revenue increased $33.1 million, or 7.9%, to $452.7 million, primarily due to strong North American pass sales growth for the 2017/2018 North American ski season and incremental operations of Stowe.
  • Ski school revenue increased $9.5 million, or 10.4%, and dining revenue increased $5.1 million, or 7.7%. These increases were the result of increased revenue at our Colorado resorts and at Whistler Blackcomb, as well as incremental revenue from Stowe.
  • Retail/rental revenue increased $2.1 million, or 2.0%, primarily due to incremental revenue from Stowe and an increase in revenue at Whistler Blackcomb, partially offset by decreased revenue at stores proximate to our western U.S. resorts and other city stores.
  • Operating expense increased $23.5 million, or 6.9%, which was primarily attributable to the inclusion of incremental operating expenses from Stowe.
  • Mountain Reported EBITDA increased $28.0 million, or 7.3%.
  • Mountain Reported EBITDA includes $3.8 million of stock-based compensation expense compared to $3.6 million in the same period in the prior year. Additionally, we recorded $3.5 million of acquisition and integration related expenses compared to $2.3 million of acquisition and integration related expenses in the same period in the prior year.
Season Pass Sales

Commenting on the Company's season pass sales for the upcoming 2018/2019 North American ski season, Katz said, "We are very pleased with the results for our season pass sales to date. Excluding sales of our Military Epic pass products, pass sales through May 29, 2018 for the upcoming 2018/2019 North American ski season increased approximately 12% in units and approximately 19% in sales dollars, as compared to the prior year period through May 30, 2017. Our spring pass sales included strong growth across nearly all markets, with continued strong performance among our destination guests in the U.S. and internationally. We had particularly strong pass sales in Whistler Blackcomb's regional market, with solid growth in Colorado and Tahoe, despite the challenging conditions experienced throughout the season in those regions. As a result of the strength of our network and the new resort partnerships we entered into, our premium Epic Pass has been the fastest growing product among all of our pass products this year. In addition to all of these results, we also saw very strong sales of our new Military Epic Pass, with huge enthusiasm and engagement from current and past members of the armed forces. We saw significant Military Epic Pass sales to new guests, as well as to guests who had previously purchased one of our season pass products. We are still in the processes of verifying our new Military Epic Pass sales and will be releasing additional information on those results in the fall. Whistler Blackcomb pass products are included in both current and prior year, adjusted to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying current period exchange rates to the prior period. It is important to note that a portion of our spring growth includes passholders who purchased 2017/18 North American ski season passes last fall".

Vail Resorts is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 11 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

World Environment Day

World Environment Day (WED) takes place every 5th of June and is the UN's most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. Two years later, in 1974 the first WED was held with the theme "Only One Earth".
Since its beginning in 1974, World Environment Day has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent issues from marine pollution and global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits as well as in national and international environmental policy. 
Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2018 is beating plastic pollution.

"Beat Plastic Pollution", the theme for World Environment Day 2018, is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. Chosen by this year’s host, India, the theme of World Environment Day 2018 invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health.
While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences. Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute. Every year we use up to 5 trillion disposable plastic bags. In total, 50 percent of the plastic we use is single use.
Nearly one-third of the plastic packaging we use escapes collection systems, which means that it ends up clogging our city streets and polluting our natural environment. Every year, up to 13 million tons of plastic leak into our oceans, where it smothers coral reefs and threatens vulnerable marine wildlife. The plastic that ends up in the oceans can circle the Earth four times in a single year, and it can persist for up to 1,000 years before it fully disintegrates.
Plastic also makes its way into our water supply – and thus into our bodies. What harm does that cause? Scientists still aren’t sure, but plastics contain a number of chemicals, many of which are toxic or disrupt hormones. Plastics can also serve as a magnet for other pollutants, including dioxins, metals, and pesticides.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Vail Resorts To Acquire Okemo Mountain, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte Mountain and Stevens Pass Resort

Vail Resorts announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Triple Peaks, LLC, the parent company of Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont, Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire, and Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. The Company will purchase Triple Peaks, LLC from the Mueller family for a purchase price of $82 million, subject to certain adjustments. At closing, Triple Peaks will pay $155 million to pay off the leases that all three resorts have with Ski Resort Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Oz Real Estate, with funds provided by Vail Resorts.
As part of a separate transaction, Vail Resorts will also purchase  in Washington from Ski Resort Holdings, LLC, who was advised on the sale by Houlihan Lokey, for a total purchase price of $67 million, subject to certain adjustments. Both transactions are subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
"Together, the acquisitions of Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Crested Butte, and Stevens Pass will significantly enhance the Vail Resorts’ network of resort experiences, adding even more variety and choice for all of our pass holders and guests. Okemo and Mount Sunapee are terrific complements to Stowe in the Northeast, as is Crested Butte to our four Colorado resorts, and Stevens Pass for our Whistler Blackcomb and Seattle guests", said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "Additionally, each of these resorts will individually offer guests from around the world entirely new and distinctive experiences in extraordinary locations from coast to coast".
"We know our guests and employees will benefit from Vail Resorts’ outstanding track record of resort and community investment, environmental stewardship, and employee development", said Tim Mueller, president of Triple Peaks, LLC. "We care deeply about the legacy of these resorts, and have absolute confidence in Vail Resorts to celebrate what makes them so special, while also providing long-term stability for the communities".
"Triple Peaks, LLC and the Mueller family and Karl Kapuscinski, the tenant and operator of Stevens Pass Resort, have been outstanding operators of these resorts and we have valued our association with them", said Steven Orbuch, founder, and president of Oz Real Estate. "We are excited about the opportunities that these transactions create for Vail Resorts and its guests while providing a beneficial outcome for our investors". 
On March 14, Vail Resorts announced that Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont and Mount Sunapee Resort in New Hampshire will join the industry-leading Epic Pass in the 2018-19 winter season, bringing the total to 64 mountain resorts in 11 states and provinces and eight countries for skiers and snowboarders.
When the transactions close, the 2018-19 Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Epic Australia Pass, and Epic Military Pass will include unlimited and unrestricted access to all four resorts, with seven and four unrestricted days for the Epic 7 Day and Epic 4 Day passes, respectively. Whistler Blackcomb Edge Cardholders will be able to use any of their U.S. days at Stevens Pass, subject to the restrictions on each card. "We are thrilled that the Epic Pass and our other season pass products will now provide our pass holders around the world with even more variety and unique experiences to choose from", said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts.

Vail Resorts is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 11 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Calendar Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2018-2019

This is the calendar for the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup 2018-2019.

Sölden (AUT)
October 27th Giant Slalom / Ladies
October 28th Giant Slalom / Men

Levi (FIN)
November 17th Slalom / Ladies
November 18th Slalom / Men

Killington (USA)
November 24th Giant Slalom / Ladies
November 25th Slalom / Ladies

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 24th Downhill / Men
November 25th Super G / Men

Lake Louise (CAN)
November 30th Downhill / Ladies
December 1st Downhill / Ladies
December 2nd Super G / Ladies

Beaver Creek (USA)
November 30th Super G / Men
December 1st Downhill / Men
December 2nd Giant Slalom / Men

St. Moritz (SUI)
December 8th Super G/ Ladies
December 9th Parallel Slalom/ Ladies
December 9th Slalom/ Ladies 

Val d'Isere (FRA)
December 8th Giant Slalom / Men
December 9th Slalom / Men

Val d'Isere (FRA)
December 14thAlpine Combined / Ladies
December 15th Downhill / Ladies
December 16th Super G / Ladies

Val Gardena / Groeden (ITA)
December 14th Super G / Men
December 15th Downhill / Men

Alta Badia (ITA)
December 16th Giant Slalom / Men
December 17th Parallel Giant Slalom / Men

Courchevel (FRA)
December 21stth Giant Slalom / Ladies
December 22nd Slalom / Ladies

Madonna di Campiglio (ITA)
December 22nd Slalom / Men

Semmering (AUT)
December 28th Giant Slalom / Ladies
December 29th Slalom / Ladies

Bormio (ITA)
December 28th Downhill / Men
December 29th Super-G / Men

Oslo (NOR)
January 1st Ladies’ City Event
January 1st Men’s City Event

Zagreb / Sljeme (CRO)
January 5th Slalom / Ladies

Zagreb / Sljeme (CRO)
January 6th Slalom / Men

Flachau (AUT)
January 8th Slalom / Ladies

Adelboden (SUI)
January 12th Giant Slalom / Men
January 13th Slalom / Men

St. Anton (AUT)
January 12th Downhill / Ladies
January 13th Super G / Ladies

Kronplatz (ITA)
January 15th Giant Slalom / Ladies

Wengen (SUI)
January 18th Alpine Combined / Men
January 19th Downhill / Men
January 20th Slalom / Men

Cortina d'Ampezzo (ITA)
January 19th Downhill / Ladies
January 20th Super G / Ladies

Kitzbuehel (AUT)
January 25th Super G / Men
January 26th Downhill / Men
January 27th Slalom / Men

Garmisch Partenkirchen  (GER)
January 26th Downhill / Ladies
January 27th Super-G / Ladies

Schladming (AUT)
January 29th Slalom / Men

Maribor (SLO)
February 1st Giant Slalom / Ladies
February 2nd  Slalom / Ladies

February 2nd  Downhill / Men
February 3th Giant Slalom / Men

Are (SWE)
FIS Alpine World Ski Championship 2019
February 5-17

Stockholm (SWE)
February 19th Ladies’ City Event
February 19th Men’s City Event

Crans Montana (SUI)
February 23rd Downhill / Ladies
February 24th Alpine Combined / Ladies

Bansko (BUL)
February 22nd Alpine Combined / Men
February 23rd Super-G / Men
February 24th Giant Slalom / Men

Kvitfjell (NOR)
March 2nd Downhill / Men
March 3rd Super G / Men

Sochi (RUS)
March 2nd Downhill / Ladies
March 3rd Super-G / Ladies

March 8th Giant Slalom / Ladies
March 9th Slalom / Ladies

Kranjska Gora (SLO)
March 9th Giant Slalom / Men
March 10th Slalom / Men

Soldeu (AND)
March 13th Downhill / Ladies & Men
March 14th Super G / Ladies & Men
March 15th Team Event / Mixed
March 16th Giant Slalom / Men
March 16th Slalom / Ladies
March 17th Slalom  / Men
March 17th Giant Slalom / Ladies