All the talk on this board about when the season starts, what the lift ticket prices are, etc is all a joke. This company is all about selling realestate and they have used up much of what they had to sell.
I did this last November when I was buying a big postion in this company, I still own it all, get the k's and q's listen to the CC and make a list of all the real estate developments these guys are building. Make a spread sheet, then Google the developments and look at them. Make sure you have a LOT OF paper, it's gonna take a lot of pages.
Don't kid yourself, in the next 3-4 years this becomes a giant real estate play. They will start to freeze out the CO day skier to free up space.
The foreign buyers are gonna be in holding patterns waiting to land their jets and buy property for amazing margins.
Vail wouldn't be what it is today without the mountain recreation at Vail. The little mining/railroad towns of Minturn and Dowd would be the only cities for many many miles. And they would be as abandoned as the run down railroad residences above Vail/Minturn.
The reputation was built one winter at a time with each snow flake that fell - allowing for real estate development. I hope anyone that thinks, 'real estate is all Vail is' doesn't apply for a job within the corporation or work for Vail's chamber of commerce.
Just as beach erosion can make pricey ocean front property worthless, loose sight of why people came and still come to Vail. Erode the reputation by neglecting Vail's history and you might as well attempt to sell expensive real estate in Death Valley for warm weather skiing - year round, on the same premise you think real estate sells by itself in Vail.
Breckenridge would be nothing of what it is today either without lift tickets and opening dates. Ambiance my friend, ambiance.
Perhaps you should review the financial statement before you make your claims. Per the last financial statement lift tickets and lessons accounted for 39% of total revenue. The Real estate division on the other hand only accounted for 12%.
From the financial statement:
Vail's real estate operations accounted for the largest growth in revenue during 2007. Real estate revenue increased by 80 percent, to $112.7 million. Resort revenue rose 6.6 percent, to $827.8 million.
Total revenue rose 12.1 percent, to $940.5 million.
Vail said lift tickets contributed $286.99 million to revenue, while ski schools brought in $78.84 million.