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Vail Reports Fourth Quarter And Looks At What Peak Acquisition Means Long Term

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Vail Resort CEO says business is good and the next year is promising. The company released their 4th Quarter earnings last week.

Last week Vail released the earnings for the 4th quarter and the resort company’s entire fiscal year which ended on July 31st. Vail CEO Rob Katz reported the year was a success and the upcoming year is promising during a call with investors.

Katz spoke about the recent acquisition of Peak Resorts and the benefits of the Epic Pass in terms of mining data about their customers.

“We think that having the resorts is a big benefit but one of the things we tried to call out was it's not just the resort,” Katz continued. “I know that tends to be what everyone focuses on. Oh great, you've got this resort, therefore it makes the pass better and that's true. But there's a multiyear impact of having the data, right. So, all the guests that went to these resorts last year where we were able to capture their data those are all opportunities for us to make a more informed and direct pitch to people.”

The recent purchase of Peak Resorts means 17 new resorts added to the Epic Pass. With most of those resorts being located back East, Katz was asked what the acquisition might mean for established western resorts like Park City.

“A large percentage of those folks are probably never going to ski out West and never ski at any of our other resorts,” Katz explained. “And so those folks would have probably the lowest value in terms of system value. But that said, that may be in the first year that they come to the resort. But of course if we can get them to come back to let's call it—let's take Mt. Brighton, if we can get somebody to go to Mt. Brighton then come back another year for Mt. Brighton, take their kids, all of a sudden they may move into the—it could be two years, three years where all of a sudden that person is now taking a trip out West. So, we do see even if in the first year the value is not as high, we do see this kind of lifetime value from these guests.”

Finally, Katz responded to an investors question about the challenges of seasonal workers and affordable housing.

“We're operating in a fairly low unemployment environment. Many of our resort communities are at the lowest numbers we've ever seen in terms of—so finding help is challenging. Affordable housing makes that even more difficult in terms of the scarcity of that, which is why it's critical that we as a company remain aggressive in trying to push forward on affordable housing projects you know anywhere we can, because it's just critical I think for the overall health of the communities.”

Season pass sales are well ahead of where they were this time last year both in units sold and in dollar revenue collected.

The fourth quarter report also noted there was in increase in revenue from lodging at the resort’s properties in Park City.

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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