Vail Resorts reported season-to-date total lift ticket revenue at the company’s North American mountain resorts, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up 9.3 percent compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
Season-to-date ski school revenue was up 6.5 percent and dining revenue was up 7.0 percent compared to the prior year season-to-date period. Retail/rental revenue for North American resort store locations was up 6.2 percent compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
Season-to-date total skier visits for the company’s North American mountain resorts were up 6.8 percent compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
The results cover ski season metrics for the comparative periods from the beginning of the ski season through April 21, 2019, and for the prior year period through April 22, 2018. The reported ski season metrics are for its North American mountain resorts, and the metrics exclude results from its Australian resorts and its urban ski areas in both periods. The data mentioned in this release is interim period data and is subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustments.
Commenting on the ski season to date, Rob Katz, chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased with our overall results as the 2018/2019 North American ski season concludes, with strong growth in visitation and spending compared to the prior year. The results from the key holiday weeks through the spring were largely in line with our original expectations as we saw strong destination visitation following the challenging early season period. Our results throughout the 2018/2019 North American ski season highlight the growth and stability resulting from our season pass, the benefit of our geographic diversification, the investments we make in our resorts and the success of our sophisticated, data-driven marketing efforts.”
Regarding the outlook for fiscal 2019, Katz said, “The strong finish to the season produced results that were in line with the Resort Reported EBITDA guidance we issued on March 8, 2019, which included $12 million of acquisition and integration related expenses, including $2 million for the Falls Creek and Hotham acquisitions and excluded any operating results or stamp duty payments related to the Falls Creek and Hotham acquisition. We plan to provide more details on our updated fiscal year 2019 outlook, including the impact of the acquisition of Falls Creek and Hotham, in our June 2019 earnings release.”
Discussing spring season pass sales results, Katz continued, “Our attention is already turning to the 2019/2020 season with spring season pass sales underway. Guests continue to be attracted to the compelling network of resorts available on our pass and our spring benefits, which include the ability to buy a pass for only $49 down. To date, we have seen solid growth in our non-military pass sales, on top of the record pass sales results we saw last spring. We are seeing particularly strong growth in pass sales among destination guests and are seeing good enthusiasm for our Epic Day Pass, but expect the primary impact of this new product to be later in the fall. We are seeing continued high engagement on our Military pass products and are now in the process of validating those purchases. We will have more to share on all of these trends in our June earnings call.”
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. The company’s subsidiaries operate 17 mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Stowe and Okemo in Vermont; Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Perisher in New South Wales, Australia; Falls Creek and Hotham in Victoria, Australia; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan.