Vail Resorts Report 12.5% Increase in Skier Visits and 19.4% Revenue Increase in Epic Pass Sales

SnowBrains | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Business man skiing, vail resorts
Man skiing in his finest business attire at one of Vail’s Resorts. Photo: Andrew Taylor. Skier: Christopher J Lee

Vail Resorts yesterday shared a few ski season metrics comparing this season to the 2020/21 season.

Total skier visits were up 12.5% over the previous year, which would marry up with the reduced Epic Pass price and reports of crowded resorts and lift lines across their properties. In fact, Epic Pass revenue was up 19.4% over the previous year, which considering the 20% price reduction, they must have sold a hell of a lot more passes.

Those extra skiers also spent even more money in resorts with ski school revenue up 53%, retail/rental up 39%, and dining revenue up a massive 73.2%.

The full press release is below:

Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today reported certain ski season metrics for the comparative periods from the beginning of the ski season through April 17, 2022, and for the prior year period through April 18, 2021. The reported ski season metrics are for our North American destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, and exclude the results of our recently acquired Seven Springs Resorts and our Australian ski areas in both periods. The reported ski season metrics include growth for season pass revenue based on estimated fiscal 2022 North American season pass revenue compared to fiscal 2021 North American season pass revenue. The data mentioned in this release is interim period data and is subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustments.  Given the announcement to close the Company’s resorts on March 15, 2020 for the remainder of the 2019/2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Company is not providing metrics relative to the comparable fiscal 2020 season-to-date period.

    • Season-to-date through April 17, 2022, total skier visits were up 12.5% compared to the prior year season- to-date period.
    • Season-to-date total lift ticket revenue, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up 19.4% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
    • Season-to-date ski school revenue was up 53.0% and dining revenue was up 73.2% compared to the prior year season-to-date period. Retail/rental revenue for North American resort and ski area store locations was up 39.0% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.

Commenting on the ski season to date, Kirsten Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are pleased with our overall results as the 2021/2022 North American ski season concludes which, as expected, are significantly outperforming results from the 2020/2021 season. The prior year was significantly impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions, which eased for most resorts in March and April of last year resulting in stronger visitation and revenue relative to the earlier parts of last season. This year, challenging early season conditions persisted through the holiday period, but our results were strong from January through the remainder of the season. Our strong season pass sales heading into the season, which are the foundation of our advance commitment strategy, resulted in particularly strong destination visitation and were further supported by lift ticket sales at our Colorado and Utah resorts that exceeded our expectations.  Our recent results at Whistler Blackcomb were stronger than expected due to the easing of travel restrictions in Canada. Recent performance at our eastern U.S. ski areas was in-line with our expectations while our Tahoe resorts were impacted by challenging spring conditions, resulting in performance below our expectations. Our ancillary businesses continued to be capacity constrained by staffing, and in the case of dining, by operational restrictions associated with COVID-19. Our results throughout the 2021/2022 North American ski season highlight both the stability resulting from the advance commitment from season pass products in a season with challenging early season conditions, staffing challenges and COVID-19 impacts and our strong execution following the holiday period through the end of the season.”

Regarding the outlook for fiscal 2022, Lynch said, “Based on the strong finish to the season, particularly driven by lift ticket sales in Colorado, Utah and Whistler Blackcomb, we now expect that our fiscal 2022 Resort Reported EBITDA will be at or around the top of our guidance range issued on March 14, 2022.”

Commenting on season pass sales, Lynch continued, “Last Thursday was the final day of our April sales deadline and we continue to see guest enthusiasm for the value proposition of our advance commitment products.  However, without any comparable April deadline in the spring of 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19, we will defer any commentary on season pass sales until our third quarter earnings release in June 2022, which follows our Memorial Day sales deadline.”

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