Bumper ski season for Vail Resorts

27th April 2016, by Abi Butcher

Breckenridge is one of a growing number of US ski areas owned by Vail Resorts

Breckenridge is one of a growing number of US ski areas owned by Vail Resorts

This season was a bumper one for Vail Resorts, with nearly 20% more visitors to its US ski resorts.

The company has released its season-on-season figures on lift sales, reporting that the winter of 2015/16 sold 19.3% more passes (including annual passes) more than the winter of 2014/15.

Vail Resorts owns a wealth of resorts across the US, increasing its stable every year. In 2013 it took over Park City and Canyons, the Utah resorts to its portfolio of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada.

It’s not just lift passes, skiers have been spending more in the US mountains across the board — with dining revenue up 16% and ski school revenue up 10.1%. Retail/rental revenue for US resort store locations was up 11.5% this winter, compared to the 2014/15 season.

Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass has clearly had an influence on the statistics, because although lift ticket sales were up, the company says its total skier visits were up 13.4% for 2015/16 compared with the previous season.

The data does not include its results from Perisher and the urban ski areas of Afton Alps, Mt Brighton and Wilmot Mountain.

Vail Resorts’ chief executive officer Rob Katz said: “We are very pleased with our results as the 2015/2016 ski season comes to its conclusion. The results from 7 March to 10 April 2016 were stronger than we expected driven in large part by favourability in the post-Easter time period with excellent conditions and robust spending across our resorts.”

He added: “The breadth of our season pass collection, led by the Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass, remains the most compelling value for skiers and riders in the United States and from around the world. To date, we have seen very strong overall results with significant continued growth on top of the record results we saw last spring.”

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