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Vail Resorts earnings: fewer Epic passes, more day passes

Park City Mountain Village on Thursday.
Parker Malatesta
Park City Mountain Village on Thursday.

Park City Mountain owner Vail Resorts reported quarterly earnings on Thursday and said the company has sold 2.3 million passes, an increase from last year.

Vail expects 70% of skier visits at its 40 North American mountains this winter to be pass holders.

Epic and Epic Local pass sales are down 12% compared to last season, but despite that dip, sales are up 55% in the past three years.

“This represents substantial growth in our highest priced products and among our most penetrated high frequency skier segment, and we expected this year's performance as a result of the significant growth after last year's price reset,” Vail Resorts CEO Kirsten Lynch said in a press release.

The company cut prices of its Epic Pass by 20% heading into last season, and saw a large bump in sales as a result. Pass prices went up nearly 8% heading into this winter.

Total pass sales are up 6% year-over-year, but that is primarily being driven by growth of the Epic Day pass, which lets people buy one to seven days of resort access. Lynch said Epic Day passes continue to be the product that’s seeing the most growth, as it targets the “large market of lower frequency skiers.”

Pass sales officially ended on December 4.

The company reported a $137 million loss for the first quarter of fiscal year 2023, which is normal, as their resorts in North America and Europe are not open for skiing.

Lynch reiterated that resorts are well-staffed, and that lodging booking is consistent with pre-COVID 19 levels.

In after-hours trading Thursday following Vail’s report, the company’s stock was up 1.5%. The company’s stock is down 25% in the past year, which is underperforming the S&P 500 by 10 percentage points.