Intrawest reports increase in skier visits |

Intrawest reports increase in skier visits

Intrawest realized a 3 percent increase in skier visits and a 5 percent increase in revenue per visit at its Western resorts, the company reported in a third quarter earnings call Tuesday.The earnings report did not significantly affect Intrawest’s stock on Tuesday, as it fell just 2 cents per share and finished at $20.58.The company’s Western resorts include Copper Mountain and Winter Park, Mammoth Mountain, Calif., and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia. Rain in January and warm weather that followed through mid-March crushed business at Whistler Blackcomb this season, reducing skier numbers by 16 percent. The ski resort usually sees nearly 2 million visitors each season and reported 1.7 million this year. The resort is still open.Panorama Mountain Village, the company’s second Canadian ski resort, was also impacted by the weather and reported a 10 percent decrease in skier visits.”It was one of those one-in-a-lifetime events that we’ve never seen before and hope to never see again,” said Joe Houssian, the company chairman, president and chief executive officer. He said despite decreased skier visits at its Pacific Northwest resorts, the company is optimistic about its business plan over the next three years.Total revenue for the quarter, which ended March 31, was $504.8 million, compared with $437.9 million for the same period in 2004. The increase mainly resulted from revenue generated by the company’s recently acquired 67 percent share of Abercrombie & Kent, an international adventure travel company. Abercrombie & Kent generated $67.9 million for Intrawest in the quarter, primarily from travel tour sales.Excluding Abercrombie & Kent and the company’s Alpine Helicopters – a Canadian heli-tour operation that the company fully acquired in 2004 – mountain resort revenue decreased by $1.2 million in the quarter due to a 16 percent decrease in revenue at the Canadian resorts. The decrease was offset by a 9 percent increase in revenue at the company’s other Western resorts, which include Copper Mountain.

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