Vail Resorts FY 3Q15 Earnings Call Notes

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If anyone has a right to complain about weather I suppose it’s these guys

“Given the severe weather challenges this year, our expectation that we will deliver resort-reported EBITDA within the original guidance range issued last September is something we are quite proud of, and result of the experience we provide our high-end guests and the stability we have been able to create in our business model.”

EBITDA of 267m

“For the third quarter, resort net revenue was $566.9 million, up 7.6% from the prior year period. And resort reported EBITDA was $267.3 million, an increase of 10.9% over the prior year. ”

Close out ski season onto capital plan

“While we have closed out the 2014-2015 ski season, we are already looking ahead to next year. Our capital plan for 2015 is well underway. In Park City, our $50 million upgrade is one of the most transformational efforts ever taken on in the ski industry and will result in a combined resort for the upcoming season that will provide guests with the chance to ski at the largest mountain resort by acreage in the United States.”

Particularly strong for upper income vacation travel

“As we look ahead towards fiscal 2016, we remain incredibly optimistic with a great start on season pass sales, new upgrades to our resorts and an economic environment that remains particularly strong for upper income vacation travel.”

We do think we need to remain competitive on wages

“We do think in the current climate, we will need to remain competitive on wages and benefits for our employees, which while certainly putting pressure on costs is something we can accomplish and stay on track with our long-term growth objectives.”

Looking for more acquisitions OUS

“The ski industry outside of the U.S. is actually quite large and so there are many, many potential targets. I would say we’re very disciplined and very thoughtful about looking for the right opportunity. A lot of that comes down to the country that it’s in, the markets that it serves, its position plus how it impact overall all of our resorts here in the United States as well. I think obviously with the Perisher acquisition, it could make a little bit more interesting other opportunities in Asia.”

We’re big believers in not rushing

“That said, I think the ski business is one where it takes a long time to put any kind of transaction together and we’re big believers in not rushing. And so I would say that we – the Perisher acquisition if anything has made other opportunities more interesting, that said, again, we don’t see ourselves in a rush whatsoever. Our goal really is to just keep making the guest network that we have that much stronger and more powerful in terms of driving revenue increases.”

There are lots of resorts around the world. We’re willing to wait for years to be able to purchase the right ones

“I think there is 500 ski resorts in the United States, for instance, but – we are incredibly pinpoint. So in other words, there are truly hundreds and hundreds of ski resorts, thousands around the world and so that’s – what I’d say is this kind of larger number is not as relevant and not the way we approach it. We’re very focused on what I’d call a handful, right, in each country of potential opportunities and then even within that, right, a primary opportunity that we think is the best.

And our goal is to wait for even if it takes years truly to wait for that, because in the ski industry the good news is you can’t build any other resorts. It also takes a long time to reshape a resort. So waiting for the right one we think is what helped drive our success. And so yes, there’s – I won’t share a hard number because I don’t think that is relevant right now, but we are focused, as we said earlier, certainly in Asia, in North America and in Europe.’

On wage stuff, we’re just highlighting something that people know

“I think we just want to highlight something that I think everybody knows, which is that the market for jobs is obviously getting more competitive and our own success obviously means that within our resorts and in our company, it is more competitive to get talent. And talent is the most critical thing to help drive our company and that’s something that we have to stay in touch with as well.”