Vail Resorts FY 4Q15 Earnings Call Notes

Vail Resorts’ (MTN) CEO Rob Katz on FY Q4 2015 Results

Not seeing any softening in consumer

“I mean again at this point, we are not seeing any softening in consumer interest. I think we had a fairly strong summer season as well. I did not see that – we are not seeing that in our bookings or in our pass sales.”

We’re better positioned than the rest of the industry because they are dealing with demand and supply, we aren’t dealing with supply

I think one of the benefits that we have obviously is other parts of the travel industry one of the things they are struggling with is not just the demand side, but the supply side. And so as people build new rooms obviously that starts to bring down some of their metrics and one of the benefits we have right now is that there has not been any new supply added to the mountain resort industry”

Tahoe down, but less than expected. Bay Area economy there is still strong

“in Tahoe where I think obviously we had more modest expectations, because of the snowfall last year, I think even though we are seeing declines, they are less than what we would have expected, which I think reflects the commitment and the loyalty that people have there, I am sure reflects in part the fact that there is an expectation at this point that this season could be relatively strong. But I think skiers and riders out in that market Bay Area the economy there is still strong. I think they know that in a huge season they want to have that pass and they want to have that connection and I think we are seeing that play out right now.”

Interestingly, Mexico has been the most resilient market to currency shifts (perhaps used to it?)

“what I would say is obviously the U.S. dollar is strong versus almost every market. So I think it impacts every market. I think we – but how that translates into advanced bookings has been we have seen differences. So I think with Canada and the UK obviously little bit more price sensitive guests. And I would say that we are seeing more sluggish bookings from those two markets, more sluggish pass sales in those two markets. And yet we are seeing strength in the Mexican market. So I can’t really quantify that, because we don’t give specific details on individual markets. But I would say, it’s not that surprising to us. I think when we have talked about currency in the past, I think we have said that we felt broadly the Latin American market was more resilient, a little bit more protected I think from some of those gyrations where I think certainly Canada and the UK and even Australia is more impacted by them.”

Didn’t see much impact from economic weakness in Australia

” think the currency impact is probably the bigger one. Candidly, we are not seeing the – yet we are not seeing or can’t pick out I would say the impact of the Australian economy in the numbers that we are seeing. I would also say that obviously the economy over the winter in Australia, which was July and August we saw pretty strong results at Perisher and did not see any impact from any kind of economic sluggishness in Australia.”

Michael Barkin – Chief Financial Officer

The US economy remains robust, especially for upper income travelers

“The U.S. economy remains robust, particularly for domestic upper income vacation travelers who produce over 85% of our destination visitation. We have seen strong demand for the upcoming season with the successful season pass sales to-date and from lodging bookings, which have been strong across our resorts.”