Vail Resorts is buying Peak Resorts. - Page 40

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  1. #391
    Quote Originally Posted by Domeskier View Post
    Agreed. Particularly for a company with market cap of nearly $10B. I wouldn't be surprised if they lost more pass sales than they gain with such a move. Lifetime pass-holders probably have family members who buy passes; I can see them all moving their business down the road if treated like that. Vail should just let this miniscule number of skiers age out of the sport and not try to bleed them for profits that wouldn't even amount to a rounding error.
    I don't think it is as simple as "well I'll just take my business elsewhere then". Let's look at Hunter. What other options are there in that same general area? Windham, Belleayre, and Platty. If you're a Hunter lifetime passholder, would you be happy at any of those other resorts? A Platty pass would cost you about the same as an Epic Local pass (and get you a far shorter and less reliable season). I love Platty's terrain but personally would have a hard time justifying the cost of their pass. A Windham pass would cost substantially more than an Epic local pass (nearly double) and I'd say the terrain is nowhere near what Hunter offers. A Belleayre standalone pass that doesn't include Gore or WF would be cheaper than an Epic Local and would probably be the best alternative for someone in that scenario. I happen to love Belleayre, but would Hunter lifetime passholders that have skied there for ages feel the same way? Then there's also the real-estate factor to consider. If you had a lifetime pass to Hunter and made that your home mountain, did that mean you also had property in the area? Some people may have just been day-tripping, but I'd have to imagine some are also local property owners. Now if you lose your lifetime pass and decide to spend money to ski somewhere else, you'll also have to factor in driving to that other mountain every time you want to ski. If you genuinely liked Hunter, going somewhere else seems a lot like cutting off your nose to spite your face. So in conclusion, I don't buy the argument that most (or even many) of the lifetime passholders are going to just go elsewhere. Sure they may complain, but I don't know that matters enough to negatively impact the bottom line.

    Overall though I still think anyone that expects a lifetime pass to truly last forever even through ownership changes is a bit naive and unrealistic. You have to realize there's a risk that a future owner wouldn't honor your pass.

  2. #392

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    A Platty pass would cost you about the same as an Epic Local pass
    You're only looking at the full pass.

    Senior and mid-week passes are much cheaper. But Vail doesn't offer either.

    But your point on no alternative is right on.

  3. #393
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    To posters pointing out that we all need to have our big boy pants on about lifetime anything, I get it.

    But the goodwill created by continuing to honor these passes (seriously, how many can there be) seems more valuable to me than a few extra bucks. It’ll cement some loyalty instead of resentment.




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  4. #394
    Quote Originally Posted by cdskier View Post
    Curious...how much did these lifetime passes cost? Can't say I would blame Vail at all for not honoring them though unless it was explicitly detailed in the sale contract that they had to. Lifetime passes that were paid to a previous owner bring nearly 0 value to a new owner even if you account for some goodwill and F&B purchases or something like that. The way I see it, at least some of these people would likely buy new passes if their lifetime ones were taken away. Even if it is a small percentage, that is most likely still more revenue than you're getting otherwise from these lifetime passholders if you had let them keep using them.
    Most folks that bought them are most likely not using them - as they would be into their 80's, unless a parent bought them for a child. The Slutzky family offered them for only a short time over 50 years ago.

  5. #395
    Quote Originally Posted by abc View Post
    You're only looking at the full pass.

    Senior and mid-week passes are much cheaper. But Vail doesn't offer either.

    But your point on no alternative is right on.
    True, although Platty doesn't have a mid-week pass either (But yes, the other resorts do and Senior passes would be cheaper as well which one would think many of the lifetime passholders probably qualify for. On the flip side though, an Epic pass would give them access to a lot more than just a single resort if they were feeling adventurous). I don't quite understand why Vail doesn't have any Senior pricing for the Epic Pass, but maybe one day they will reconsider that. I always found that strange.

  6. #396
    Quote Originally Posted by cdskier View Post
    I don't think it is as simple as "well I'll just take my business elsewhere then". Let's look at Hunter. What other options are there in that same general area? Windham, Belleayre, and Platty. If you're a Hunter lifetime passholder, would you be happy at any of those other resorts? A Platty pass would cost you about the same as an Epic Local pass (and get you a far shorter and less reliable season). I love Platty's terrain but personally would have a hard time justifying the cost of their pass. A Windham pass would cost substantially more than an Epic local pass (nearly double) and I'd say the terrain is nowhere near what Hunter offers. A Belleayre standalone pass that doesn't include Gore or WF would be cheaper than an Epic Local and would probably be the best alternative for someone in that scenario. I happen to love Belleayre, but would Hunter lifetime passholders that have skied there for ages feel the same way? Then there's also the real-estate factor to consider. If you had a lifetime pass to Hunter and made that your home mountain, did that mean you also had property in the area? Some people may have just been day-tripping, but I'd have to imagine some are also local property owners. Now if you lose your lifetime pass and decide to spend money to ski somewhere else, you'll also have to factor in driving to that other mountain every time you want to ski. If you genuinely liked Hunter, going somewhere else seems a lot like cutting off your nose to spite your face. So in conclusion, I don't buy the argument that most (or even many) of the lifetime passholders are going to just go elsewhere. Sure they may complain, but I don't know that matters enough to negatively impact the bottom line.

    Overall though I still think anyone that expects a lifetime pass to truly last forever even through ownership changes is a bit naive and unrealistic. You have to realize there's a risk that a future owner wouldn't honor your pass.
    agree. There are probably about 200 people involved, and they would all continue toski Hunter. Location, familiarity and most of all they have ski buddies there!

    they can keep moaning, especially one cranky female who everyone has had enough of, but most of us have stopped listening long ago. They just need to sit back and face reality. What does Vail owe them? Not a thing!!

  7. #397
    Quote Originally Posted by cdskier View Post
    I don't think it is as simple as "well I'll just take my business elsewhere then".
    My post was ambiguous. I did not mean I wouldn't be surprised if _all of the lifetime pass-holders_ moved their business. I meant that I would not be surprised if some lifetime pass-holders took _all of their family's business_ elsewhere. I also wouldn't be surprised if some lifetime pass-holders just stopped skiing. Given the small pool of lifetime pass-holders and the uncertainty about how they might react to losing their passes, I don't think it's worth it to a company like Vail to disavow the lifetime passes in the hope of making a handful of additional EPIC pass sales, if that. It makes them look greedy and it will have zero meaningful impact on their bottom line. Alternatively, if they honor the passes, they get a rep for being a company that takes its obligations seriously even if not legally required to do so.

  8. #398
    Quote Originally Posted by cdskier View Post
    I don't quite understand why Vail doesn't have any Senior pricing for the Epic Pass, but maybe one day they will reconsider that. I always found that strange.
    I always found it strange that anyone would. Mid-week passes makes sense to me, but I fail to see the rationale for subsidizing the cost of elderly people's skiing.

  9. #399
    Quote Originally Posted by drjeff View Post
    I'm sure some of the Killington long timers can add/correct me on this, but I think the Killington situation was they were "bond passes" and that since they were issued as essentially an investment "bond" with a side perk of a season pass while the company was in existence, it was determined that at some point, where there was a full change in the ownership, and not just the original owners changing the name of the holding company, that the original agreement between the original owner and the bond investor lost legal status going forward, and thus the "requirement" to issue a season pass each year ended (Guessing some lawyers made enough trying to figure all this out to buy a lifetime of season passes for themselves )

    Just an interesting topic to consider when all of the variables are considered.....
    Sold passes represent a liability in accounting terms, whether it be an annual pass (and a one-season liability) or a "lifetime" pass (and thus a "lifetime" liability). Depending on how the contract between corporate overloads is structured, the new owner of a ski area may or may not acquire the liabilities along with the assets of the company. Whether or not the previous owner—who was a party to the contract that created the pass—is required to include honoring the pass liabilities as part of the sale terms would depend on the contract between the passholder and the owner at the time of that pass being sold.

    IIRC, in the case of Killington, it was more complicated than just some number of locals skiing on lifetime passes; many of bond passes were transferrable on an annual basis, and some people had acquired a number of them and would sell them via classifieds/CL/word-of-mouth each year, basically in direct competition with the resort for season pass sales. That was further complicated by the possibility that the bond—and thus the right to use or sell the annual pass—could be sold, and there were some number of people who had bought them just before the ASC purchase of Killington and the subsequent drop in pass pricing. Those people generally didn't get the return they expected, because between the lower annual value and the suspension of the passes after Powdr came in, the long-term value of the "lifetime" pass became a lot less than expected prior to the ASC purchase. While it pissed off a lot of people, I can't blame Powdr for deciding that they had no interest in competing with a bunch of individual sellers for pass sales.
    Disclaimer: Unless otherwise noted, I speak only for myself, unless I'm saying something incredibly dumb, in which case I didn't say anything and you're hallucinating.

  10. #400

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domeskier View Post
    I always found it strange that anyone would. Mid-week passes makes sense to me, but I fail to see the rationale for subsidizing the cost of elderly people's skiing.
    It's only "subsidizing" if the majority of those seniors will buy full pass had the senior pass no longer exist.

    Those old enough to qualify for the senior's pass, many are retired. So they'd be skiing mid-week mostly. By offering full benefit senior pass at discount, you're hoping to capture the family of those seniors. Without it, they may simply buy a midweek pass but go skiing with their family at random mountains that suits their younger member of the family better.

    Does it make sense to offer mid-week, senior pass at additional discount? I can't find any justification for that.

    But as Vail is not offering any midweek passes either. So it's an entirely different calculation.

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