Vail Mountain Sets Visit Record

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SAM Magazine-Broomfield, Colo., June 12, 2011-According to initial tallies by Vail Resorts (VR), Vail Mountain set a new record for season visits during the 2010-11 season. The ski area saw 1.75 million skier visits, up 9.2 percent from the previous winter. Third quarter profitability also increased, by 5.6 percent, over the prior season, totaling $76.9 million. Coincidentally, Vail set a record for snowfall during the 2010-11 season, as well, with a total of 511 inches.

VR's other Colorado resorts saw visits range from a 7.1 percent increase at Keystone, with 1.05 million visits, to a 2.9 percent decline at Beaver Creek, with 900,000 visits. Breckenridge eked out a 1.1 percent rise, to 1.63 million visits.

VR's season pass sales for next winter are up 27 percent in dollars-boosted, perhaps, by an early-purchase incentive: VR cut $20 off the price of its passes this spring. The addition of Northstar-at-Tahoe may also have helped boost pass sales compared to the year-earlier period; VR purchased the management contract for Northstar last October.

The improved profit picture led Vail to declare a first -ever stock dividend of $.15.

On Wednesday, the 22 ski areas that are part of Colorado Ski Country USA reported 6.9 million visits for the season. With a reported 5.3 million visits at VR's Colorado areas, that puts the state's total for the year above the 12 million mark for only the fourth time.