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Vail considering cutting back on announced improvements- beginning of the end for VR?

drjeff

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Listening right now to the latest Storm Skiing Podcast episode that dropped... Stuart, the host, is interviewing National Ski Areas Association President, (and former Mount Snow GM) Kelly Pawlak, about COVID-19 and the effects on the industry.

One of the figures Kelly cited that floored me, was exactly how many folks are employed by the ski industry (both full time year round and part time seasonal employees), and that is 965,000!!

Also was mentioned that the estimated loss for the ski industry will be about 2 BILLION dollars, and that some of the larger Western Resorts in particular will end up loosing about 1/4-1/3 of their annual revenue with the loss of March and April....

Crazy numbers... Very interesting interview as well

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machski

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Yeah, losing 22 million had nothing to do with it! It has to be true cause it's what they said!!
If Boyne didn' t already own the new Swift Current 6 fully I might agree. But they have continued forward paying Dopp for both lifts. So the loss has no bearing on install, they are concerned with the work stoppages now and potential for a second stoppage later this year.

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BenedictGomez

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larger Western Resorts in particular will end up loosing about 1/4-1/3 of their annual revenue with the loss of March and April....

I think 1/3 seems a bit drastic. They're empty in April, and no major revenue period falls in March.
 

drjeff

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I think 1/3 seems a bit drastic. They're empty in April, and no major revenue period falls in March.

When you factor in skiers visits (including Spring breakers and their families), all of the lodging and rental, lesson and food and beverage income, as well as some of the convention and wedding income, Kelly said that some, but by no means all, of the larger destination Western resorts can have the March/April time frame being that much of a significant income production time for them.

In the roughly 15 years I've known Kelly (heck, her daughter even babysat for my kids in the past at one point), she's always been a straight shooter when it comes to her facts and figures, and given the entire context of the situation as well as the context within that podcast, I doubt that she'd change something like that stat
 

machski

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A lot of folks schedule vacations in March as snow packs are hitting their peak. It's not a typical vacation period but I can see it being a non-trivial part of their income.
Unlike the North East, most of the rest of the country only has a single school week break in the second half of the school year. That is normally spread out all through March. So to say March isn't a normal vacation week for the Western resorts is just straight up wrong.

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Rowsdower

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Businesses are gonna get ridiculously leveraged after all this. Been reading about numerous corps floating bonds or taking lines of credit so as not to cut dividends. Insanity.
 

BenedictGomez

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A lot of folks schedule vacations in March as snow packs are hitting their peak. It's not a typical vacation period but I can see it being a non-trivial part of their income.

I do, but I think that's more the niche AZ' types. Nevertheless, even if not, it's really not "March & April", so much as mid-March & April. I think most closed around March 15th'ish.
 
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I stand corrected. They took on more than $500 million in Mid-March.

This is consistent with what I've seen as a high yield lender. Companies have revolving credit lines, which are basically pre-negotiated credit cards. Many (if not most) have partially or fully drawn them down because they rightly have no idea what's coming next. Hopefully, they're done out of extreme caution, but time will tell.

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ss20

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I think it might be panic time in the Vail boardroom....apparently their "weather-proof" strategy isn't exactly weather-proof as everyone but the PNW and Jackson Hole are really hurting for snowfall. Whistler is doing well, but....travel restrictions.

Year-to-Date snowfall-
Vail- 46"
Breck- 55"
Park City- 42"
Northstar- 30"
Sunapee- 1"?
Stowe- 43" (not to bad honestly)

A decent storm is headed to Colorado, but they're in REALLY bad shape. Pretty much everyone still on WROD. Probably gonna get a foot but need 3+. Same deal for Park City. Northstar/Kirkwood will be getting a big storm but nobody is touching California with a ten foot pole right now. The East is a different deal as we could get 2 feet of snow on the weekend before Christmas and be 100% open over the course of a day, but the slow start certainly isn't good and more rain coming for the weekend. Out west there needs to be big storms coming and coming quick for Christmas week to have a good selection of terrain open. Unfortunately long-term it looks like it'll dry out again.

While the season pass $$$ is locked in, I'm interested to see how things play out with lodging and F/B where Vail makes their money. I'm sure profits were already going to be tight with capacity restrictions but if there's no snow what do you do if your hotel capped at 50% capacity is at only 50% of that capacity?
 

ScottySkis

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I think it might be panic time in the Vail boardroom....apparently their "weather-proof" strategy isn't exactly weather-proof as everyone but the PNW and Jackson Hole are really hurting for snowfall. Whistler is doing well, but....travel restrictions.

Year-to-Date snowfall-
Vail- 46"
Breck- 55"
Park City- 42"
Northstar- 30"
Sunapee- 1"?
Stowe- 43" (not to bad honestly)

A decent storm is headed to Colorado, but they're in REALLY bad shape. Pretty much everyone still on WROD. Probably gonna get a foot but need 3+. Same deal for Park City. Northstar/Kirkwood will be getting a big storm but nobody is touching California with a ten foot pole right now. The East is a different deal as we could get 2 feet of snow on the weekend before Christmas and be 100% open over the course of a day, but the slow start certainly isn't good and more rain coming for the weekend. Out west there needs to be big storms coming and coming quick for Christmas week to have a good selection of terrain open. Unfortunately long-term it looks like it'll dry out again.

While the season pass $$$ is locked in, I'm interested to see how things play out with lodging and F/B where Vail makes their money. I'm sure profits were already going to be tight with capacity restrictions but if there's no snow what do you do if your hotel capped at 50% capacity is at only 50% of that capacity?
Utah generally get more good white lines by a lot compared to co
 

FBGM

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This is not unheard of for west and intermountain west. Past few years have been decent early so everyone freaks when it doesn’t snow early season. I’ve seen worse.

The real issue is lack of people, food and lodging.
 

raisingarizona

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I do, but I think that's more the niche AZ' types. Nevertheless, even if not, it's really not "March & April", so much as mid-March & April. I think most closed around March 15th'ish.
Way wrong.
March is western ski areas $ making time. All of the western states do spring break in March and it’s staggered regionally, this is likely by design to keep the tourism industry afloat and not overwhelmed in a shorter window.

A ski area like Purgatory pretty much makes all of their profits during the Christmas holiday period, Presidents’ Day week in February and all of March. Losing half of March is a major, MAJOR blow.
 

raisingarizona

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This is not unheard of for west and intermountain west. Past few years have been decent early so everyone freaks when it doesn’t snow early season. I’ve seen worse.

The real issue is lack of people, food and lodging.
Truth. The pattern changes in a few days. Ski areas north of me are gonna start getting storms. The early season dry spell is pretty normal.
 

Tonyr

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This is not unheard of for west and intermountain west. Past few years have been decent early so everyone freaks when it doesn’t snow early season. I’ve seen worse.

The real issue is lack of people, food and lodging.
Agreed, I'm out here now. While the skiing at Beaver Creek is currently not very good, Keystone and Vail have been solid relatively speaking. Aspen mountain has more than half of it's terrain open. (Snowmass isn't great though) The resturants and hotels on the other hand are dying. I've heard the hotels in BC are only half full during the holiday season this year.
 
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