Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Vail Resorts: Earnings are WAY Up This Quarter

Vail's sales are way up Annual Price and EPS Surprise graph for Vail INC. Credit: Yahoo/Finance

Day lift passes at Vail Mountain, Colorado and neighboring Beaver Creek are currently $219 a day for the ongoing holiday season. They're the most expensive walk-up lift passes in the country right now.

Yesterday, Vail Resorts reported that season pass sales through December 2 for the current North American ski season increased by 17% in sales dollars as compared to the previous fiscal year. Vail is seeing a significant increase in sales and revenues, and continues to increase their lift ticket prices.
Opening day at Vail Mountain Vail Chief Operating Officer, Beth Howard, cuts the ribbon on opening day at Vail last month. Credit: VailDaily

The information is coming from a press release from Vail Resorts showing their earnings for the first quarter of this fiscal year:

“We are very pleased to see strong sales growth in our season pass program that exceeded our expectations,” said CEO of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz, in the release. “We continue to see very strong growth in our Northeast markets, which are benefiting from the first full year of pass sales with unlimited access at Stowe, Okemo and Mount Sunapee, the recent addition of Peak Resorts, and the improved impact of the expanded guest data and insight we now have in that region. Our destination markets outside of the Northeast also saw very strong growth and continue to perform well through our enhanced ability to reach destination guests with our data-driven marketing and the introduction of Epic Day Pass.”

Katz went on to explain on how the lion's share of Vail's sales growth came from Epic season pass holders, specifically new pass holders and lower frequency visitors:

"The majority of our sales growth came from our Epic and Epic Local products where we saw solid growth in new pass holders and renewing pass holders, with less trade down to Epic Day Pass than we were expecting. Epic Day Pass was a strong success in its first year with an expanded product offering and was a significant contributor to our overall growth and exceeded our expectations, particularly in the Epic two and three day products. We believe this bodes very well for the long-term opportunity of Epic Day Pass, as we begin to highlight the incredible value to lower frequency guests. Importantly, the vast majority of Epic Day Pass sales came from new pass holders, with particular success in destination markets."

As the first quarter of the 2020 fiscal year is now under wraps, Vail Resorts expects to see further growth, with more Epic pass sales and even more skier visits to their mountains. Is there a limit to how much the corporation can make?

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