Vail Resorts reports significant revenue declines in early season

EAGLE — It’s no surprise that Vail Resorts is reporting some significant declines in its business this season.

On Friday, Jan. 15, the company reported metrics for the beginning of the ski season through Jan. 3 compared with the same period last season. The metrics are for the company’s North American ski areas, including Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort in Summit County and Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort in nearby Eagle County.

The report indicated losses in the following areas:

Skier visits down 16.6%

  • Lift ticket revenue, including an allocated portion of season pass revenue, down 20.9%
  • Ski school revenue down 52.6%
  • Dining revenue down 66.2%
  • Retail and rental revenue down 39.2%

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz indicated that the declines were a result of pandemic-related restrictions and low snowfall early in the season.

“As expected, COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on our 2020-21 North American ski season-to-date results,” Katz said in a news release. “Visitation across our North American resorts declined relative to prior year levels, primarily as a result of declines in visitation from nonpass, lift ticket purchases. We expect these declines were primarily driven by reduced demand for destination visitation at our Western resorts and COVID-19 related capacity limitations, which were further impacted by snowfall levels that were well below average at our Colorado, Utah and Tahoe resorts through the holiday season.”

Vail’s two resorts in Summit are significantly behind on snowfall. Breckenridge reached the 100-inch mark on the season Sunday, Jan. 17, a milestone it hit more than a month earlier on Dec. 14 last ski season. Keystone is sitting just shy at 99 inches. As of Monday, Jan. 18, Breckenridge had 49% of terrain open. Keystone was faring better at 82%.

The lack of snow is especially difficult for resorts this winter, when ski area capacities are limited. The ski areas and Summit County government have declined to say what exactly those capacity limits are, citing trade secrets.

Beyond skier visits, the resorts are seeing even bigger declines at restaurants and ski school operations.

“Consistent with our expectations, our ancillary lines of business saw material season-to-date revenue declines in excess of the declines in visitation as a result of the COVID-19 limitations and restrictions, particularly in food and beverage and ski school,” Katz said.

Katz added that despite the setbacks, “We are pleased with our overall revenue performance compared to the prior year period.”

Katz added that if capacity restrictions remain stable and normal snowfall conditions return to Colorado, Utah and the Lake Tahoe area, the company expects to see “improved performance” for the remainder of the season.

This story is from VailDaily.comSummit Daily contributed to this report.

Ways You Can Help Local Businesses Right Now

Small businesses need our help now more than ever. Here are 10 creative ways to lend your support without risking your health.

Ways You Can Help Local Businesses Right Now. Social distancing is the right thing to do right now, full stop. But the worry is that if everyone stays home, we won’t just shut down Covid-19, we’ll shut down small businesses as well. Most local businesses have already lost massive amounts of revenue as people self-quarantine, and some states are starting to mandate the closure of bars and restaurants. With potentially weeks’ worth of lost income, the local businesses that are so integral to the fabric and character of our communities may not have the margin to survive.

So maybe quit panic-buying toilet paper and start panic-buying stuff from the local stores, restaurants, and service providers you care about. Here’s how to support the small businesses that need your help right now — without risking your health.

1. Buy a gift card.
Businesses need cash flow right now, and the easiest way to help them out is to buy some gift cards to use down the road. Lots of shops are offering gift card bonuses right now, so treat yourself. Even better, treat someone else. Email a gift card that lets your nurse friend order some after-work tacos. Donate an art store gift card to your local school. Or stock up on cards from coffee shops, nail salons, yoga studios, and bookstores to hand out as gifts down the road. It may be hard to believe, but Mother’s Day, birthdays, and teacher appreciation week are still going to happen this year. Get your gift-shopping done now when it can make a huge impact on a struggling local business.

2. Get delivery.
Hanging out in your favorite diner is not a good look at the moment. Luckily, most restaurants and shops have stepped up options like delivery or curbside pickup so you can minimize contact with humans. If you can afford it, commit to ordering in a few meals this week.

3. Shop local online.
Lots of local shops keep at least some inventory available to order online. That boutique bag you’ve been eyeing? The great piece of local art? Now’s the time to treat yourself. This is a perfect time to support indie bookstores, too. Many of them have closed to the public but are offering free shipping, curbside pickup, and local deliveries. And trust us: you don’t want to quarantine without a stack of good books. (Prefer audiobooks? Get your favorites through libro.fm, an audiobook company that partners exclusively with indie bookstores.)

4. Tip like a boss.
It’s a crappy time to be a waiter, delivery driver, or barista, because not only are they likely working fewer hours, they’re getting fewer tips from their nonexistent customers. (Plus: Sick leave? What sick leave?) If you can afford it, make someone’s day with a massive tip.

5. Keep paying the people who work for you.
If you’re taking self-quarantine seriously, you’ve canceled the piano lessons and sent the housekeeper and the tutors away. But that doesn’t mean you should stop paying them. Venmo is no-contact and germ-free. Maybe throw one of those gift certificates their way while you’re at it.

6. Skip the refund.
If you missed a local show that you had tickets for, consider writing it off as a donation instead of asking for your money back. Now’s also a great time to sign up for that membership to your local nonprofit arts association or subscribe to the summer theater series.

7. Schedule a service for later.
Coronavirus has created the ultimate cancel culture, but all those missed reservations and skipped services are stressing out local workers. If you can, schedule works with a cleaner, a painter, a plumber, a contractor, or a salon. Simply knowing that work is coming their way can alleviate some anxiety and make a big difference in helping them weather this difficult time.

8. Provide a signal boost.
Give a shout-out to your favorite local businesses by leaving them a stellar review on Yelp, Google, or Facebook — that thing you always meant to do but never had time for. (Thanks, coronavirus!) While you’re at it, follow all your favorite businesses and artists online and share their social media posts. They might have their own ideas for how you can support them. (Indie musician Roxi Copland suggests buying merch online.)

9. Reach out to government leaders to ask for help.
In one of the cities hardest hit so far by the coronavirus, Downtown Seattle Association president Jon Scholes has said, “We need to move quickly at the local, state, and federal level to provide economic relief to the small business and workers who are out of jobs.” To get serious about boosting local businesses through this mess, email your legislator and ask them to help small businesses.

10. Say thanks.
All of us are mega-stressed right now, but local business owners worried about their livelihood have a special level of anxiety. Send a thank-you note or an email to let them know that you see them and you’re thinking of them. A little compassion and connection right now go a long way.

“Ways You Can Help Local Businesses Right Now”

From: https://livability.com/topics/love-where-you-live/10-ways-you-can-help-local-businesses-right-now

By: Melody Warnick is a freelance writer and the author of This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live