Intrawest Earnings Rise After Debt Load Falls

As reported today in SAM Magazine —Denver, May 14, 2014— Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc. results for the three months ended March 31 improved, largely due to reduced interest expense following its successful IPO offering in February. Net income for the January-March quarter was $108.9 million, compared to $62.1 million for the year-ago quarter.

Intrawest attributed the large gain to reduced interest expense and improved revenues from mountain operations.

Restructuring aside, several measures show that the January-March quarter was better than the prior season for Intrawest’s portfolio (Steamboat and Winter Park, Colo.; Canadian Mountain Holidays in B.C.; Tremblant, Que.; Stratton, Vt.; Snowshoe, W.V.; and 50 percent of Blue Mountain, Ont.). For the quarter, total revenue was $285.7 million, a 2.5 percent increase; skier visits rose 5.5 percent (and more than 10 percent at the Colorado resorts). Stated in “constant currency” for U.S. and Canadian dollars, total revenue rose 7.8 percent.

For the year to date, revenue from season pass and frequency products increased 18 percent, and comprised 37.2 percent of total lift revenue—compared to 32.8 percent in the same period of the prior year. Intrawest saw visits increase by 7.9 percent year-to-date, while ski school and F&B revenues both increased by more than 8 percent. Expanded air traffic into Steamboat, particularly increased capacity from California, played a role in the increased revenues.

Despite the increase in pass sales, the effective ticket price was nearly flat: $44.95 for the third fiscal quarter of 2014, compared to $45.66 for the same period in 2013. Intrawest attributed most of the change to unfavorable foreign currency translation.

“The strong results in our mountain segment were driven by a significant increase in revenue from season pass and frequency product sales and investments in select projects that enhanced our customers’ experience and resulted in strong returns on invested capital,” CEO Bill Jensen said. “We continue to see ongoing opportunities to improve our core business segments and remain focused on delivering shareholder value through targeted initiatives.”

Revenue for the nine months ended March 31 was $469.9 million, compared to $465.3 million in the prior year period. Mountain revenue increased nearly 4 percent from the prior year period, but revenues from real estate and the “adventure” segment fell slightly.

With Easter falling in late April, visits and revenues for the fourth quarter are likely to show additional gains from year-ago levels for the mountain segment. Nonetheless, with lower revenues from its “adventure” and real estate segments, Intrawest expects total revenue for full fiscal year to fall slightly, but to be flat in constant currency.

Snowbird Poised for a Bright Future

Press Release – May 12, 2014
The Bass and Cumming Families announced today that they have entered into a partnership for the future operation and development of Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.  The partnership will provide continuing direction and funding for major capital improvement projects, including a new restaurant and skier services building atop the Aerial Tram, a Four Diamond remodel initiative for the Cliff Lodge, and the future renovation of the Snowbird Center.
“This partnership will enable Snowbird to achieve more rapid growth and even greater benefits for our guests in keeping with our founding perspective and philosophy of providing a year-round destination mountain resort for the enhancement of body, mind, and spirit, with our ever present emphasis on environmental protection and sensitivity,” said Richard D. Bass.
In addition, Bass feels extremely fortunate to have the Cumming Family join in Snowbird’s future, owing to his inability to live and work at Snowbird’s altitude because of his advancing age.
“I look forward to working with the Bass Family and the team at Snowbird in providing world-class experiences on and off the mountain,” said Ian M. Cumming, an original investor in the Inn at Snowbird.  Cumming owns a home at Snowbird and his family has a long history of skiing at Snowbird.  “We are very happy to be involved at a place that has so many fond memories for our family,” said Cumming.
“Partnering with the Cumming Family ensures a bright future for Snowbird,” said Snowbird CEO and President Bob Bonar, one of the first employees when Snowbird opened in 1971.  “Snowbird’s commitment to providing exceptional skiing and year-round hospitality, entertainment, and guest service will only greatly increase as we go forward.”
Snowbird’s current management team, led by Bob Bonar, Tom Jones and Jerry Giles, will remain in place. The partnership is between the Bass and Cumming Families and does not involve Powdr Corp.  Mr. Cumming will own a majority share of Snowbird.  Dick Bass will remain as Chairman of the Board.