BROOMFIELD, Colorado - Vail Resorts this week issued a press release detailing comparative results for the ski season so far versus last season. The periods measured were for opening day 2009 through Jan. 6 of this year and opening day 2008 through Jan. 7, 2009.
Season to date total lift ticket revenue through Jan. 6, 2010, was down approximately .4 percent compared to the prior season to date. Season to date total skier visits for the company's five mountain resorts were down approximately 2.7 percent for this season to date.
"We are pleased with our early season metrics, particularly given the current state of the economy and since snowfall came late to our Colorado resorts this year," Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz said. "Below-average snowfall at our Colorado resorts leading up to the holiday season limited the amount of terrain open, which negatively impacted skier visits, including pass visits, during the early season and the beginning of the holiday season."
Katz added that recent winter storms brought have allowed the company to open the majority of its terrain at its five resorts.
Vail Mountain on Dec. 18 had only 19 lifts and 28 percent of its terrain open. Vail Mountain today has 30 lifts open to 95 percent of its terrain, including all of the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin.
While skier visits were down 2.7 percent, Vail Resorts' total lift ticket revenue was essentially flat. Katz said season pass revenue was up despite fewer visits from season pass holders.
Ski school and retail/rental revenue declined only .6 and 0.8 percent, respectively. Those numbers show the improvement from a number of the company's new programs. Dining revenue was similar to the decline in total skier visits.
Katz said the company believes its lodging reservations are reflection of a an industry trend toward shorter booking windows than a possible indication of lower future visits.