Welcome!

News Feed Item

2013/14 Mid-Season Ski Industry Update: Spotty Weather Creates 'Haves' and 'Have-nots'

MARTINSVILLE, N.J., Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Thus far, the 2013/14 ski/snowboard season has seen widely divergent performance across regions.  Some areas have enjoyed robust snowfall and cold temperatures, while others are suffering from a historic dearth of precipitation.  Against this backdrop, we reduce our forecast for total skier visits and now see low-to-mid single digit percentage gains over last year, or 58 to 60 million visits.

Much of the northeast U.S. has seen frigid temperatures and enjoyed several snowstorms so far this season, benefiting resorts in the region, particularly those in New York.  In Colorado and Utah, solid snowfall totals have also blanketed resorts.  However, in California and the Pacific Northwest, conditions have been poor.  California's 25 ski resorts have seen the lowest amount of snowfall since the 1971/72 season.  Mammoth Mountain, the third largest resort in the U.S. by number of visitors, has received just 48 inches of snow so far this year, compared to a 400 inch yearly average, and only has half of its 28 lifts turning.  According to data from the California Department of Water Resources, the state's snowpack is only 12% of what would be considered normal for this time of the year.  Since the department began collecting data in 1960, the previous record low was 21% of normal, which was registered in 1991.  This hardship extends north through Washington and into British Columbia, Canada.  Whistler Blackcomb, the region's flagship resort, has received only 121 inches of snow so far this season, which compares to a 10-year average of about 275 inches. 

Due to this, resorts in California have experienced declines of up to 50% in skier visits.  The aforementioned Mammoth Mountain has forecasted 950,000 skier visits this season, down from an average of 1.3 million.  On the other hand, through December, resorts in Colorado have seen a 22% increase in visits, according to Colorado Ski Country USA.  Visits in the state are now tracking 6.7% above the 5-year average as early snowfall allowed many mountains to open more terrain earlier in the season.  Vail Resorts, which owns a portfolio of ski areas across the U.S., recently reported that its overall skier visits were down 0.7% year-over-year, through January 5th.  Although its properties in Utah and Colorado were up 7.4%, its properties in the Lake Tahoe area saw a sharp 23.4% decline.  The resiliency in its headline figure displays the advantages of having a geographically diverse resort portfolio.  Intrawest Resorts, which owns resorts across the U.S. and Canada, as well as CMH, the world's premier heli-skiing operator, reported that its skier visit total was up 8% through January 5th.  The company went public via an IPO on January 31st, pricing its shares at $12, well below the expected range of $15-17 per share.  The struggles in California will likely strain the finances of some smaller resorts and could spark a wave of takeovers and consolidation.  Results in the northeast, however, have been favorable.  While resorts in Vermont have not benefited as strongly from recent storms that dumped over a foot of snow in areas of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, they have provided great marketing in major metro areas, such as New York City and Philadelphia, which helped bookings.  Jay Peak in northern VT noted that business was up 24% through year-end, while Killington Resort said that business was up 9.5% year-over-year, through Christmas.            

From a lodging perspective, DestiMetric's data show that occupancy at mountain resorts was up 6.2% nationally, with revenues up an even stronger 12.3%.  By region, western resorts were up 6.5%, while eastern locations registered a 2.1% gain.  Retailers have also benefited from cooperative weather in most areas of the U.S.  SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and the Leisure Trends Group's RetailTRAK said that snow sports retailers enjoyed a record holiday season, with sales through December hitting $2.20B, beating last year's $2.01B and 2010/11's record of $2.17B.  The report noted that while the drought in California hindered sales, favorable conditions in the northeast and record cold extending into the southern U.S helped drive sales, particularly for apparel.  By category, equipment sales rose 6%, apparel sales gained 7%, and accessories sales jumped 15%.  In the accessories vertical, action cameras experienced substantial growth, with unit sales rising 19% and dollar sales jumping 36%.  The report also noted that while an improving economy and rising stock market are helpful, approximately 75% of the year-to-year variance in snow sport retail sales can be explained by weather conditions. 

Overall, while weakness in California and the Pacific Northwest has created a drag, the 2013/14 ski season is off to a solid start.  Should snow conditions improve in those areas, and remain strong in the rest of the country, we could see acceleration through February as viewership of the Olympics generates interest and provides widely disseminated marketing for winter sports. 

Condor Capital

Founded in 1988, Condor Capital is an employee-owned, SEC-registered investment advisor based in Martinsville, N.J. employing 15 professional and support staff. Since Condor is a fee-only, investment management firm, its fees are based on portfolio size, not sales commissions or number of trades. For more information on Condor Capital, please visit www.condorcapital.com or call 732-356-7323.

Contact: Ken Schapiro, [email protected]

SOURCE Condor Capital

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...