Vail Resorts revenue up; profit outlook iffy

BROOMFIELD – Vail Resorts Inc. reported record revenue and skier visits at some of its resorts, but pulled back on profit guidance expectations because of poor early-season snow.

The Broomfield-based ski operator (NYSE: MTN) said in a Tuesday, Jan. 15, statement that lift-ticket revenue was up 4.3 percent season-to-date through Sunday, Jan. 13, at its seven resorts. Vail Resorts subsidiaries operate Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada.

The company also plans to close purchase deals this month on Midwest ski areas Afton Alps in Hastings, Minnesota, and Mount Brighton in Brighton, Michigan. Metrics from those resorts were not included in the latest financial guidance.

Dining revenue was up 9 percent at Vail Resorts’ seven mountains, retail/rental revenue was up 7.7 percent and ski school revenue was up 2.9 percent compared with the same season-to-date period a year ago, according to the company press statement.

However, revenues were weak from the start of the ski season through mid-December, “when conditions at our Colorado resorts were very poor and highly unusual,” Rob Katz, Vail Resorts’ chief executive, said in the press statement.

The company said it now expects net income of $39 million to $49 million for fiscal 2013, if normal weather conditions continue. That would be more than double last year’s results, according to the press statement. Vail Resorts’ fiscal year ends on July 31.

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