Vail Resorts reports record revenues | AspenTimes.com

Vail Resorts reports record revenues

Edward Stoner
Vail correspondent

Daily File Photo

AVON ” With Vail Mountain having its most profitable year ever and skier numbers up at all of Vail Resorts’ ski mountains, the company’s year-end financial numbers show profits and record revenues.

“We did indeed have that fine year we hoped we would,” said Vail Resorts’ Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron.

Vail Resorts reported $23.1 million in net income on $810 million in revenue for its fiscal year, which ended July 31. Last year, the company reported a net loss of $6 million largely due to debt refinancing and mold removal at employee apartments in Breckenridge.

For its 2005 fiscal year, the company had record highs for its mountain and lodging divisions in revenue and “EBITDA,” a measurement that stands for “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.”

In the fourth quarter, the company reported a loss of $36.4 million or about $1 per share. Analysts with Thomson Financial had estimated a 90-cent-per-share loss for the quarter. The fourth quarter, which covers May, June and July, is traditionally less profitable because there are no skiers on the mountain.

Last year’s fourth quarter loss, $36.3 million was about the same as this year’s.

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Revenue for the year increased $83.4 million or 11.5 percent. Meanwhile, operating expenses rose at a slightly higher clip. They increased $76 million, or 13.8 percent, to $627.6 million.

The company’s revenue is divided into three categories: mountain, lodging and real estate.

In the mountain category, revenue was up 8 percent to $541 million for the fiscal year. EBITDA was $151 million, up 13.3 percent.

Skier visits were up 5 percent at the company’s five resorts ” Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly near Lake Tahoe. That increase, coupled with 4 percent higher lift ticket prices, boosted lift revenue by 10 percent.

Aron said it was Vail Mountain’s most profitable year ever. Vail had 1,568,000 skier visits.

“There appears simply to be no top to what we can successfully charge for resorts of Vail’s caliber and quality,” he said.

Beaver Creek had a record number of skier visits with 815,000. Skiers at Heavenly and Breckenridge also set records. All of the resorts except Beaver Creek saw more than 1 million skier visits for the year, and Heavenly’s skier visits were up the most, 10.4 percent.

In the lodging category, revenue was up 8.8 percent to $196.4 million. EBITDA was up 46 percent to $16.2 million.

Aron said Vail Resorts also has been capitalizing on the “frothy market for hotel transactions.”

In June, the company sold the Vail Marriott, and in July it sold The Lodge at Rancho Mirage in California, but stayed on as management at both hotels. It also sold their share of the entity that owns The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in December. The sales brought in $108 million for the fiscal year.

Real estate took in $72.8 million in revenue, up $27.7 million from last year. EBITDA decreased, from $30.9 million to $14.4 million.

Vail Resorts stock, trading as MTN on the New York Stock Exchange, closed at 28.36 points, or down 0.42 percent, Wednesday.