Vail Resorts posted positive gains in several categories this year, including overall visits, lift ticket revenue, and retail revenue, citing its season pass products as a key component of its success.
The Broomfield, Colorado-based company reported total skier visits were up 6.1% for the ski season ended April 16, 2023, compared to the prior year period.
Season-to-date total lift ticket revenue increased 4% for the same period.
Retail and rental revenue for resorts and ski areas in North America increased 21.8% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
Ski school revenue was up 26.4% and dining revenue increased 35.3% compared to the prior year season-to-date period.
“We are pleased with our overall results as the 2022/2023 North American ski season nears completion, with strong growth in visitation and spending compared to the prior year,” Kirsten Lynch, chief executive officer for Vail Resorts, said in a release.
“Our ancillary businesses, including ski school, dining, and retail/rental, experienced strong growth compared to the prior year period, when those businesses were impacted by capacity constraints driven by staffing, and in the case of dining, by operational restrictions associated with COVID-19.”
Lynch went on to attribute the gains to the company’s “advance commitment strategy,” which includes its season pass program, in light of “significant weather-related challenges this winter season from the travel disruptions over the peak holiday period, abnormal weather variability across our resorts in the East and significant storm-related disruptions at our Tahoe resorts.”
Late-season snow allowed the company to keep its resorts open in Utah, Tahoe and the Northeast.
“While some of our Eastern U.S. resorts in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic closed earlier than originally intended due to unseasonably warm weather, our resorts in the Northeastern U.S. experienced improved conditions and visitation to finish the season,” Lynch said.
Spring pass sales are underway for 2023-2024. According to Lynch, the company is seeing “solid” growth in pass sales for both local markets and destination markets, particularly in the Northeast.