Intrawest reports increase in skier visits, revenue at Western resorts |

Intrawest reports increase in skier visits, revenue at Western resorts


COPPER MOUNTAIN – Intrawest realized a 3 percent increase in skier visits and a 5 percent increase in revenue per visit at its Western resorts, the company reported in a third quarter earnings call Tuesday.The earnings report did not significantly affect Intrawest’s stock on Tuesday, as it fell just $0.02 per share and finished at $20.58.The company’s Western resorts include Copper Mountain and Winter Park, Mammoth Mountain, Calif., and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia. Rain in January and warm weather that followed through mid-March crushed business at Whistler Blackcomb this season, reducing skier numbers by 16 percent. The ski resort usually sees nearly 2 million visitors each season and reported 1.7 million Tuesday. The resort is still open.Panorama Mountain Village, the company’s second Canadian ski resort, was also impacted by the weather and reported a 10 percent decrease in skier visits.”It was one of those one-in-a-lifetime events that we’ve never seen before and hope to never see again,” said company chairman, president and chief executive officer Joe Houssian, adding that, despite decreased skier visits at its Pacific Northwest resorts, the company is optimistic about its business plan over the next three years.Total revenue for the quarter that ended March 31 was $504.8 million, compared with $437.9 million for the same period in 2004. The increase mainly resulted from revenue generated by the company’s recently acquired 67 percent share of Abercrombie & Kent, an international adventure travel company. Abercrombie & Kent generated $67.9 million for Intrawest in the quarter, primarily from travel tour sales.Excluding Abercrombie & Kent and the company’s Alpine Helicopters – a Canadian heli-tour operation that the company fully acquired in 2004 – mountain resort revenue decreased by $1.2 million in the quarter due to a 16 percent decrease in revenue at the Canadian resorts. The decrease was offset by a 9 percent increase in revenue at the company’s other Western resorts, which includes Copper Mountain.The company reported net income of $68.8 million for the quarter, or $1.44 per diluted share, compared to the previous third quarter, which generated $56.2 million in net income or $1.17 per diluted share.The company also reported a 9-percent increase in occupied room nights and a 4 percent increase in lodging rates. It collected $1.1 million in reservation fees – a new fee instituted by the company this year.Real estateReal estate revenue decreased from $91.5 million in the 2004 quarter to $52.1 million, the company reported Tuesday, due to fewer unit closings and a decrease in average price per unit.Prices were discounted at Copper Mountain and another Intrawest resort in an effort to sell long-standing inventory. At Copper, the inventory was built about five years ago as part of a redevelopment at the center village.Average price for the units involved in the sell-outs was $321,000, compared to a companywide average unit sales price of more than $500,000.Despite the need to sell overbuilt units, Houssian said he is optimistic about the mountain resort real estate market.”We continue to see that the buyers of our real estate are in their baby boomer years … they continue to prove to us that our buyers are increasing in size, wealth and need to acquire vacation homes,” Houssian said.Kim Marquis can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 249, or at Intrawest at a glance – Founded in 1976 by chairman, president and chief executive officer Joe Houssian as a real estate firm.- Merged with Whistler Blackcomb, B.C., in the mid-1980s- Today, owns or is involved with 14 mountain resorts in North America and Europe and two warm-weather resorts in the U.S. – 8 million annual skier visits- 10 mountains- 36 golf courses- 67-percent owner of Abercrombie & Kent, an international adventure tour operator with destinations in 100 countries. – Also owns Alpine Helicopters Ltd., the parent company of Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world.- Has land on which to build nearly 20,000 more units.- Nearly 25,000 employees- A public company listed on the New York (IDR) and Toronto (ITW) stock exchanges.

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