BROOMFIELD, Colo., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today reported certain ski season metrics for the comparative periods from the beginning of the ski season through January 6, 2010, and for the prior year period through January 7, 2009, with both periods including the holiday period through the first Wednesday after New Year's Day. The data mentioned in this release is interim period data and subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustments.
- Season to date total lift ticket revenue through January 6, 2010, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was down approximately 0.4% compared to the prior year season to date period ended January 7, 2009.
- Season to date total skier visits for the Company's five mountain resorts were down approximately 2.7% for the season to date period through January 6, 2010, compared to the prior year season to date period ended January 7, 2009.
Commenting on the ski season metrics season to date, Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer said, "We are pleased with our early season metrics, particularly given the current state of the economy and since snowfall came late to our Colorado resorts this year. Below average snowfall at our Colorado resorts leading up to the holiday season limited the amount of terrain open, which negatively impacted skier visits, including pass visits, during the early season and the beginning of the holiday season. Fortunately, recent winter storms brought significant snowfall to our resorts, which allowed us to open the vast majority of our lift serviced terrain at our five resorts. For example, Vail Mountain on December 18, 2009, had only 19 of its lifts and 28% of its terrain open, whereas Vail Mountain now has 30 lifts open and 95% of its terrain open, including all of the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin. While skier visits were down 2.7%, our total lift ticket revenue was essentially flat, reflecting the stability of our operating model, even during periods of more challenging conditions, as season pass revenue was up despite lower visitation from season pass holders during this period. Ski school and retail/rental revenue declined only 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively, in line with total lift ticket revenue, despite the higher visitation decline, partly reflecting improvement from a number of our newly launched programs. Dining revenue tracked more closely to the decline in total skier visits, with improvements from our new initiatives more than offset by the lack of facilities being open in the early season with limited terrain available. As of December 31, 2009, our lodging booking trend remained consistent with what we reported as of November 30, 2009. As evidenced by our mountain metric results to date, we continue to believe these booking trends are much more of a reflection of a shorter booking window than necessarily an indication of lower future visitation."
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties at the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, the Heavenly Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts, Inc. is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
Statements in this press release, other than statements of historical information, are forward looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to prolonged downturn in general economic conditions, including continued adverse affects on the overall travel and leisure related industries; unfavorable weather conditions or natural disasters; adverse events that occur during our peak operating periods combined with the seasonality of our business; competition in our mountain and lodging businesses; our ability to grow our resort and real estate operations; our ability to successfully complete real estate development projects and achieve the anticipated financial benefits from such projects; further adverse changes in real estate markets; continued volatility in credit markets; our ability to obtain financing on terms acceptable to us to finance our real estate development, capital expenditures and growth strategy; our reliance on government permits or approvals for our use of Federal land or to make operational improvements; adverse consequences of current or future legal claims; our ability to hire and retain a sufficient seasonal workforce; willingness of our guests to travel due to terrorism, the uncertainty of military conflicts or outbreaks of contagious diseases, and the cost and availability of travel options; negative publicity or unauthorized use of our trademarks which diminishes the value of our brands; our ability to integrate and successfully operate future acquisitions; and implications arising from new Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB")/governmental legislation, rulings or interpretations.
SOURCE Vail Resorts, Inc.