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Vail Resorts reports income down, but record revenue and pass sales

Katz told analysts that the net revenue and EBITDA from resort operations in fiscal 2014 marked a record. That record was fueled by a 10.2 percent increase in skier visits, which reached 7.7 million despite a 16.2 decline in visits to its three resorts in the drought-stricken region of Lake Tahoe in California. The companys net revenue from lodging grew 14.8 percent to $242.3 million for fiscal 2014. Its EBITDA from that revenue grew 37.5 percent to $16.7 million for the fiscal year.

The company saw lift-ticket revenue increase 14.4 percent in fiscal 2014, fueled by a 20.1 percent jump in season-pass sales. Through the beginning of this week, Vail Resorts increased annual sales of its popular Epic Pass by 14 percent in units and 18 percent in dollars. Katz said pass sales surged when Vail Resorts announced the acquisition of Park City Mountain Resort.

The $182.5 million Park City deal included 687,000 square feet of residential, commercial and lodging space in Park City at the base of the ski area. Katz said there are development opportunities that Vail Resorts will pursue on some of that land, possibly with a partner. He said the base area at Canyons which the company does not own also will benefit from combining the two ski areas into a single resort.

Summer business in Park City represents another opportunity for growth for Vail Resorts, which has launched aggressive summer recreation development at its Vail, Breckenridge and Heavenly ski areas.

We think the summer piece is big, Katz said.

Vail Resorts expects Park City Mountain Resort to deliver about $35 million in earnings to its resort operations. That would bump the companys 2015 expectations for resort earnings to somewhere between $340 million and $360 million, with net income ranging from $75.5 million to $100.5 million for fiscal 2015.

Jason Blevins: 303-954-1374, jblevins@denverpost.com or twitter.com/jasonblevins

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