Poor early season snow is being blamed for a lackluster start to the season for Vail Resorts. The slow start to the winter in British Columbia and Washington state is dragging down visitation for Vail Resorts throughout North American, with skier visits down 7.8% through Jan. 5 compared to last year. Elsewhere through the holiday, skier visits were up at all of the company’s other resorts.
The reduced visitation has had a negative impact on other areas of the company’s business; dining revenue is down 3.6% and retail revenue has fallen 1.8% year-on-year. Meanwhile, lift-ticket revenue is up 0.4% and ski-school revenue has increased by 2%.
CEO Rob Katz announced in a press release that much of the skier drop-off following last year’s good season can be attributed to the poor conditions at Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and at Stevens Pass in Washington. Season to date snowfall at Whistler is currently 60% below the 30-year average.
The company are confident however that they can turn this slump around. They are not lowering guidance for company earnings in the 2019-20 fiscal year, citing strong season-pass sales along with other factors, reports Biz Journals.
Data from the company’s last earnings call at the beginning of December stated that overall, Epic Pass sales were up 22% in units and 17% in revenues, exceeding their expectations.
Vail Resorts operates 37 mountain resorts and regional ski areas across the world.