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SAM Magazine--Vail, Colo., December 16, 2004--Vail Resorts, Inc., announced its first quarter numbers last week for the fiscal year 2004 (the quarter ended on October 31, 2003) and the news was mixed. It seems expenses outweighed revenue in quite a few areas, though the company claims it is making headway and that the results were better than anticipated for what is normally the slowest quarter.

For example, mountain revenue for the first quarter was $34.1 million, a 1.3 percent increase over the same quarter last year. However, mountain expense was $61.9 million, which was a 4.2 percent decrease over 2003. Lodging revenue was $42.7 million and lodging expense was $40.5 million, a 3.1 percent increase over last year. Resort revenue, which includes mountain and lodging revenues, rose $2.5 million to $76.7 million. Resort expense, however, was $102.4 million, albeit a $1.5 million decrease over 2003. Finally, real estate revenue for the quarter fell $12.5 million to $26.9 million and real estate expense decreased $15.4 million to $12.1 million.

Overall, spending outweighed revenue as total revenue was $103.6 million, down from $113.6 million in 2003, while total operating expense was $134 million.

In the EBITDA numbers, reported EBITDA for the mountain segment was negative $29.9 million (a seven percent improvement over the same quarter last year), reported EBITDA for the lodging segment was $400,000 (an improvement of $400,000 over 2003), resort reported EBITDA was negative $27.5 million and real estate reported EBITDA rose $2 million over last year to $16.9 million.

The expected seasonal loss from operations for the quarter improved $6.2 million to a loss of $30.4 million.

Looking forward, Vail did post record season pass sales, with overall pass revenue up by 20 percent over last year, children's lessons are tracking 22 percent ahead of last year and year-to-date revenue booked is 2 percent ahead of last year at this time. \