Skiers visits slip slightly at Vail |

Skiers visits slip slightly at Vail

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jason Roberts catches some air in Rose Bowl early last season at Beaver Creek. The mountain had its most skier visits ever. (Bret Hartman/Vail Daily file)

VAIL ” It was no surprise to Jeff Evans that Beaver Creek had its most skier visits ever.

“For us, it was busy all the way to the end,” said Evans, manager of Christy Sports in Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek had record-breaking skier visits, while Vail Mountain’s skier numbers slipped a bit, Vail Resorts said Friday in its quarterly report.

Vail Resorts posted a strong profit for its lucrative ski-season months of February, March and April.

“We are very pleased with our results for the third quarter and the entire 2006-07 ski season,” said Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz.

Profit was up 14.8 percent over last year to $78.5 million for the third quarter. Those results came atop strong results last year, when the company reported a 16.2 percent increase in profit.

Revenue from the company’s mountain division ” including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly ” increased 4.7 percent for the quarter compared to last year.

Beaver Creek had 890,000 skier visits last year, compared to 875,000 the previous year.

“I think Beaver Creek’s momentum certainly should continue,” Katz said.

Vail had 1,608,000 visits for 2006-07, a decrease compared to 1,676,000 visits in 2005-06.

Big snowstorms in the Denver area contributed to that decrease, Katz said.

“Certainly a big chunk of that was the Front Range skiers not going to Vail as much,” Katz said, adding that he didn’t think the construction in Vail deterred skiers.

After a banner snow year in 2005-06, snowfall last season was near normal at Vail and Beaver Creek.

Meanwhile, bad weather at Lake Tahoe took a toll at Heavenly, where skier visits were down 12 percent.

Skiers visits were down 1 percent overall at Vail Resorts’ five mountains. But mountain revenue increased overall due in large part to a 10 percent increase in ticket prices, Katz said.

Katz touted Lionshead’s Arrabelle at Vail project, which he said will be open around Christmas or New Year’s, a little behind schedule. It will have a hotel, stores, skier-services facilities and condos. Work on the condos there will also continue through the ski season, he said.

Vail Resorts has sold more than 200 memberships to the private club that’s planned for the base of the Vista Bahn in Vail Village, Katz said. The memberships were so popular, the company raised the prices for the deposits to $260,000 for a full membership and $105,000 for a “social” membership.

Vail Village and Lionshead are getting important facelifts with the Front Door and the Arrabelle, Katz said.

“We’re going to see a complete upgrade of both of those areas,” he said.

He also mentioned more upgrades at Vail and Beaver Creek happening this summer ” Vail is installing a faster Chair 10, and Beaver Creek is adding a gondola on Haymeadow for its children’s ski school.

Skier visits

2006-07: 1,608,000.

2005-06: 1,676,000.

2006-07: 890,000.

2005-06: 875,000.

2006-07: 1,650,000.

2005-06: 1,620,000.

2006-07: 1,171,000.

2005-06: 1,094,000.

2006-07: 900,000.

2005-06: 1,023,000.

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