Vail Resorts stocks surge Tuesday |

Vail Resorts stocks surge Tuesday

Cliff ThompsonVail correspondent

AVON – Market forces pushed Vail Resorts stock to the highest price in more than seven years. The stock reached $27.90 a share and closed Tuesday at $27.70.The run-up of stock price comes in advance of next month’s release of what is expected to be a very rosy third-quarter earnings report after a healthy ski season at the company’s five resorts. The reason for the 5 percent jump over two days may be less influenced by speculation than by market dynamics.”Seventy-nine percent of this company is held by institutional investors and they know what’s going on,” said Fraser Horn of First and Main Investments in Edwards. “They’re not selling. There’s no stock to buy so it becomes simple supply and demand.”A total of 123,000 of the company’s 35 million shares were traded yesterday, Horn said. That’s a bit beneath the 175,000 shares traded in an average day.Investors holding the stock are probably looking to profit on the smoking hot real estate sales at the company’s four Colorado resorts and Heavenly on Lake Tahoe. At Vail alone, the company has more then $500 million in real estate development it will be selling over the next five years.In the last earnings report, company chief executive Adam Aron cheerily told stockholders and members of the press that much of that real estate can be sold at exceedingly profitable rates.The company has been positioning itself to be a player in the red-hot hotel sales and acquisition market. Earlier this month the company sold the 345-room Vail Marriott Mountain Resort for $62 million. It paid $49 million for the property four years ago and also invested heavily in a major remodeling.

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