American Skiing Company reported particularly strong visitation levels for its western resorts in the winter operating season, bolstered by good skiing and riding conditions, but eastern resorts, where the company has most of its business, reported a slow spring season.
The Canyons resort in Park City, Utah experienced an increase in skier visits of over 16%, compared to nationwide growth in skier visits of approximately 4%. Steamboat experienced growth in skier visits of 8% in fiscal 2006. However, Attitash, Killington, Mt Snow, and Sugarloaf all experienced double-digit declines for the year and Sunday River reported a 9.9% decline. All resorts combined, AESK saw skier-days decline 6.9%. The company did say that they have seen year-over-year increases in business volumes in the Christmas/New Years holiday.
While skier visits declined, revenues for the year-to-date were actually up 2.5% for the year, due in large part to higher lift ticket revenues and higher “skier development” revenues. The loss from resort operations improved 22.6% to $26.4 million compared to a loss of $34.1 million for the same period in 2005. The decreased loss was associated primarily with the increase in resort revenues, a decrease in depreciation expense, and an increase in net gain on sale of property.
The company reported early results for the fourth fiscal quarter, reflecting a 1% increase in revenues for the first five weeks of its fiscal 2006 fourth quarter over the first five weeks of its fiscal 2005 fourth quarter. Company-wide hotel bookings for the remainder of the fourth quarter are 10% ahead of pace compared to the same period in the prior fiscal year.