Season pass, multi-day tickets claim growing share of Intrawest lift ticket sales |

Season pass, multi-day tickets claim growing share of Intrawest lift ticket sales

Skiers and snowboarders take advantage of six fresh inches of January powder during the low-snow winter of 2011-2012 at the Steamboat Ski Area. Steamboat parent company Intrawest reports an increasing share of overall ticket sales are season passes purchased before winter gets underway.
Steamboat Pilot file photos

— Any Security and Exchange filings describing how Intrawest’s Colorado ski resorts, Steamboat and Winter Park, were affected by the unusually warm and dry months of February and March in Colorado will wait as long as until mid-May. Intrawest announced April 20 in a preliminary report that it had not finalized its financial statement for the fiscal third quarter of 2015.

However, the company did report that its sales of season pass and frequency product sales continue to grow, from 16.5 percent through the end of February this year to 17 percent as of April 9.

“The company estimates net income attributable to Intrawest Resorts Holdings, Inc., will be between $126 million and $129 million,” a press release stated.

That’s up from $108.9 million at the end of Q3 2014.

Intrawest and Steamboat have grown more aggressive in rolling out multi-resort passes for the next season before the current season comes to an end. Intrawest announced on March 10 its new MAX Pass, which gives skiers and riders access to 22 different resorts, a number of them under different ownership. And those passes play a role in the ski resort operator’s success in mild winters like the one just ended.

In a presentation to lenders that Intrawest published this week as it seeks to “re-price” some of its debt that carries variable interest rates, the company reported the percentage of overall revenue from sales of lift tickets attributable to season pass and frequency product sales (six, 10 and 20-day passes), had grown from 30.7 percent in fiscal 2011 to nearly 38 percent in 2014.

Ski areas across North America have learned that season passes, or “pre-committed revenue” as Intrawest refers to season passes in its financial statements, can also serve as a hedge against winters that begin with below-average snowfall, by locking in consumer dollars. During the winter of 2011/2012, which Intrawest described as “the worst weather year in (the) past 20 years,” the company had essentially tied up 34.4 percent of lift revenues in the form of season passes before the nature of the winter ahead was known.

Shares of Intrawest were up 30 cents and trading at $9.92 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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