Vail Resorts Inc. reported that its season pass sales through Sept. 21 were up 14 percent in units and 18 percent in sales dollars, compared to the period ended Sept. 22, 2013. 

“It is a very good sign that we have been able to maintain our growth rates from the spring, reflecting strong guest enthusiasm for our pass products, which we believe represents the best value in the entire ski industry,” said the company’s CEO Rob Katz. ”

While season pass growth rates will come down by the end of the selling season, Katz said the growth likely reflects success the company has had encouraging guests to purchase their passes earlier in the year. Typically at this point in the year, Vail Resorts Inc. has sold approximately 55 percent to 60 percent of our season passes for the upcoming ski season. The companys Epic Pass season pass grants owners access to all the companys mountain ski resorts as well as partner resorts in Switzerland, France and Japan.

Last winter, Vail Resorts owned or operated  Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort in Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This upcoming winter, Epic Pass holders will also be able to use the pass at the Park City Mountain Resort, which Vail Resort acquired last week.

Vail Resorts reported its Retail/Rental revenues decreased 2.8 percent to $22.0 million in the fourth fiscal quarter ended July 31, but were up 5.5 percent to $201.4 million for the fiscal year compared with $199.4 million reported for fiscal 2013. The result reflect the operations at Vail Resorts Retail, formerly known as Specialty Sports Venture, a subsidiary that operates more than 180 specialty snow sports, cycling, racquet and outdoor furniture shops in or within a day’s drive of Vails ski resorts.

Highlights from Vail Resorts Inc. fiscal 2014 results include:

  • Total skier visits for fiscal 2014 increased to 7.7 million, from 7.0 million in fiscal 2013, a 10.2 percent increase.
  • Season pass revenue increased $29.6 million, or 20.1 percent, compared to the prior fiscal year.
  • Effective Ticket Price (“ETP”), excluding season pass holders, increased $3.72, or 4.9 percent, compared to the prior fiscal year.
  • Mountain Reported EBITDA, which represents all revenue from ski lifts, ski schools, rental/retail and dining operations in Vail resorts, increased $23.4 million, or 10.2 percent, to $252.1 million in the fiscal year ended July 31, compared to fiscal 2013.   

Vail Resorts, Inc.

Mountain Segment Operating Results

(In thousands, except effective ticket price (“ETP”))

(Unaudited)



Three Months Ended
July 31,


Percentage

Increase


Twelve Months Ended

July 31,


Percentage Increase


2014


2013


(Decrease)


2014


2013


(Decrease)

Net Mountain revenue:














Lift

$


$


%


$

447,271


$

390,820


14.4

%

Ski school



%


109,442


95,254


14.9

%

Dining

7,523


7,100


6.0

%


89,892


81,175


10.7

%

Retail/rental

21,986


22,615


(2.8)

%


210,387


199,418


5.5

%

Other

24,490


22,129


10.7

%


106,581


100,847


5.7

%

Total Mountain net revenue

$

53,999


$

51,844


4.2

%


$

963,573


$

867,514


11.1

%

Mountain operating expense:














Labor and labor-related benefits

$

38,706


$

37,129


4.2

%


$

264,849


$

238,479


11.1

%

Retail cost of sales

11,820


13,270


(10.9)

%


87,929


88,500


(0.6)

%

Resort related fees

1,176


1,140


3.2

%


47,508


41,970


13.2

%

General and administrative

28,578


26,240


8.9

%


136,133


119,938


13.5

%

Other

30,918


25,429


21.6

%


176,366


150,819


16.9

%

Total Mountain operating expense

$

111,198


$

103,208


7.7

%


$

712,785


$

639,706


11.4

%

Mountain equity investment (loss) income, net

(20)


92


(121.7)

%


1,262


891


41.6

%

Mountain Reported EBITDA

$

(57,219)


$

(51,272)


(11.6)

%


$

252,050

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