Vail Resorts sees FY resort reported EBITDA 'modestly below' prior guidance
Commenting on the ski season to date, Rob Katz, CEO said, "Given the truly historic low snowfall across our western U.S. resorts, we are pleased with our results to date, which reflect the stability provided by our season pass program and the investments we have made in our resorts. The 2017/2018 ski season had a very challenging start across our western U.S. resorts due to poor conditions in the early season that continued through the holiday period, reducing both local and destination visitation and spending. In November and December, snowfall season to date in Vail, Beaver Creek and Park City was the lowest level recorded in over 30 years and in Vail and Beaver Creek snowfall is over 50% lower than the next lowest season, and Tahoe's snowfall was 69% below the 20-year average. Fortunately, conditions have improved at our western U.S. resorts in the last week with expanded open terrain due to recent storms, and we expect a portion of the Back Bowls at Vail Mountain and Peak 6 at Breckenridge to open this weekend. However, we still remain behind typical conditions for this time of year in terms of open terrain and base depth. Conditions and financial results at Whistler Blackcomb have been strong and are consistent with last year's record performance, and Stowe is off to a strong start in our first year of operating the resort." Katz continued, "As a result of the challenging conditions at our western U.S. resorts, we now expect full year Resort Reported EBITDA to be modestly below the low end of the guidance range we issued on December 7, 2017, assuming a continuation of the improvement in conditions that we are currently seeing, such that our western U.S. resorts reach a normal terrain package within the next few weeks. To the extent that conditions improve more slowly, there could be further downside below our guidance range. However, we are encouraged by the experiences we deliver for our guests and how we have performed financially in previous challenging seasons, such as in 2011/2012, given our constant reinvestment in the comprehensive guest experience across our resorts and the strength of our season pass program."