Breckenridge, Keystone set skier records |

Breckenridge, Keystone set skier records

Summit Daily Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. ” Resort real estate at Breckenridge and record skier visits at Keystone and Breckenridge were key pieces of Vail Resorts best-ever $87.3 million third-quarter profits announced earlier this week.

“We are very excited with the performance of Keystone, which had an outstanding season. Keystone had very strong destination visitation and modest growth in in-state visitation, resulting in a 7 percent increase in skier visits over the 2006/2007 ski season,” said Vail Resorts chief executive officer Rob Katz in a prepared statement.

“Our real estate activity not only advances in Vail … but also with significant opportunities in Breckenridge. We are in the process of designing Peak 8 in Breckenridge with initial plans calling for a new Peak 8 base area including a seven building multi-use development,” Katz said.

Sales of Crystal Peak units at Peak 7 accounted for gross sales totaling $54.4 million, at an average sales price of $962 per square foot, Katz said.

All but one of the 46 units at Crystal Peak are under contract, and the units will likely be ready for occupancy as much as two months earlier than expected.

The first phase of the Peak 8 development is expected to include another 89 ski-in, ski-out units, with about 100,000 to 110,000 square feet of saleable square footage. If it sells at the same per-square-foot price, that could generate another $96.2 in gross sales.

Company-wide real-estate revenue increased by $10 million ($140.5) percent from last year.

The company also reported a record $114 million profit for the combined first three quarters of the fiscal year.

Broomfield-based Vail Resorts owns Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly. It also owns and operates hotels and resorts across the West and in the Caribbean.

The results were released in the company’s quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts. The quarter covers February through April.

Mountain and lodging revenue were both up substantially over the 2007 fiscal third quarter ” $13.9 million (4.7 percent) and $4.2 million (10.5 percent), respectively.

Revenue increases outpaced expense growth in both segments, contributing to the record profits.

After a slow start to the season, consistent snow beginning in December and lasting the rest of the winter, helped fuel a 3.1 percent jump in skier days at Beaver Creek, to 918,000. Vail Mountain skier visits dipped 2.4 percent, to 1.57 million.

Total visitation at all five resorts (Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly Valley and Vail) for the 2006/07 ski season dropped 1.1 percent. Skier visits at the four Colorado areas was up 1 percent, but Heavenly visits were down 12 percent; adverse weather conditions were to blame, Katz said.

Destination visits at the Colorado quartet were up 7 percent, offset by an 8.6 percent drop among in-state skiers.

The good snow may also be spurring pass sales for next year. Vail Resorts has sold 39 percent more season tickets than during the same period last year. With increased prices, the jump means that revenue from ticket sales climbed 54 percent.

Katx said the company is seeing a high number pf pass renewals, helping to establish momentum for the coming season.