Consolidating resort group
Already the largest operator of North American ski resorts in 2014, during the next two years Vail shrewdly bought the two most consequential destination resorts it didn’t already own—Park City, Utah and Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia.With these additions, Vail’s role as the singular empire in skiing, as the company that dictated terms to not only skiers but also to other resorts who sought those skiers, seemed set.For destination skiers, however, who generate more lucrative margins and periphery business—lodging, rentals, food—for ski resorts and are thus more sought after, the choice has grown more complicated.Buying individual lift tickets remains an option, but Vail Resorts in particular has made this route punitively expensive: one-day tickets at some of the company’s top-tier mountains hit 9 last season.As a result, they may be using 15 to 20 vendors and it’s a logistical nightmare.
The majority of his time is spent overseeing revenue generation and cost controls.Skiers who planned a destination trip to Aspen for Christmas would buy the Mountain Collective Pass and, if they put another trip on the books for February or March, would pick another Collective resort such as Jackson Hole.Likewise, skiers traveling to Vail or Breckenridge for the holidays might combine that with a spring trip to another Vail Resort such as Park City.Myers attributes this trend to previous owners who are often “stepping over dollars to get to pennies.” “If you are a GM trying to run a select service property, and you spend six hours a day running to Costco or Sam’s Club, the opportunity cost of not being in your hotel—running your property in a profitable manner, trying to increase revenue, reducing controllable costs—are way higher than what you would ever save,” said Myers.
“These are times when you can be prospecting, working on client development, engaging with your employees and working on things that can have an impact.” According to Myers, a typical independent hotel is managed by a family who has tried to cut costs whenever possible.
“If you spread that over five properties, it’s a 0 – 0K savings in just one year, from just one vendor.” “There is not a lot of profit margin in this business.