Vail Resorts today reported certain ski season metrics for the comparative periods from the beginning of the ski season through April 16, 2023, and for the prior year period through April 17, 2022. The reported ski season metrics are for the Company’s North American destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including the results of Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain in both periods and excluding the results of the Australian ski areas and Andermatt-Sedrun in both periods. The data mentioned in this release is interim period data and is subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustments.
- Season-to-date total skier visits were up 6.1% 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 4.0% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
- Season-to-date ski school revenue was up 26.4% and dining revenue was up 35.3% compared to the prior year season-to-date period. Retail/rental revenue for North American resort and ski area store locations was up 21.8% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
“We are pleased with our overall results as the 2022/2023 North American ski season nears completion, with strong growth in visitation and spending compared to the prior year. Our ancillary businesses, including ski school, dining, and retail/rental, experienced strong growth compared to the prior year period, when those businesses were impacted by capacity constraints driven by staffing, and in the case of dining, by operational restrictions associated with COVID-19. The return to normal staffing levels enabled our mountain resorts to deliver a strong guest experience resulting in a significant improvement in guest satisfaction scores, which have exceeded pre-COVID levels at our destination resorts. The results throughout the 2022/2023 North American ski season highlight the stability created from our advance commitment strategy, as the Company faced significant weather-related challenges this winter season from the travel disruptions over the peak holiday period, abnormal weather variability across our resorts in the East and significant storm related disruptions at our Tahoe resorts, as discussed in our March earnings release.
“The results in March and April improved as expected, with strong demand from local and destination guests driving visitation above prior year record levels. In addition, favorable conditions enabled the Company to extend the ski season at resorts across Utah, Tahoe, and the Northeast. While some of our Eastern U.S. resorts in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic closed earlier than originally intended due to unseasonably warm weather, our resorts in the Northeastern U.S. experienced improved conditions and visitation to finish the season.”
– Kirsten Lynch, Chief Executive Officer
Regarding the outlook for fiscal 2023, Lynch said, “The strong finish to the season produced results that were in line with the Resort Reported EBITDA guidance we issued on March 9, 2023. Our strong season pass sales results, prior to the start of this season, significantly mitigated the negative impacts from weather and peak holiday travel disruptions, highlighting the stability created by our advance commitment strategy.”
Commenting on spring season pass sales, Lynch continued, “Our attention is already turning to the 2023/2024 season with spring pass sales underway. Guests continue to be attracted to the network of resorts available on our pass, the pass options and compelling value. To date, we have seen solid growth in pass product sales in both local markets and destination markets, particularly in the Northeast. We will be providing additional details on our spring pass sales in our third quarter earnings release in June 2023.”
Basis of Presentation
The reported ski season metrics include growth for season pass revenue based on estimated fiscal 2023 North American season pass revenue compared to fiscal 2022 North American season pass revenue. The metrics include all North American destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including Seven Springs, Hidden Valley and Laurel Mountain as if they were owned in both periods, and are adjusted to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying current period exchange rates to the prior period for Whistler Blackcomb’s results. “Eastern” U.S. resorts collectively refers to the 26 Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast resorts.