Vail Resorts enjoyed a solid late winter and spring, even though it spent $2.4 million during the quarter on its for-now successful litigation with Park City Mountain Resort.
The Colorado company, which operates Canyons Resort, reported Thursday it had net earnings of $118 million in the quarter ending April 30, a 21 percent jump from the same period a year earlier.
A late-arriving snowpack throughout the West, but particularly in California, where early-season precipitation was sorely lacking, resulted in 11.2 percent more skier visits during February, March and April than in the same three months of 2012. That produced lift-ticket revenues that were 17 percent ahead of the previous year’s pace.
The quarterly earnings report did not break out skier numbers or ticket revenue for Canyons Resort, but did note a $25 million increase in Vail’s operating expenses included the $2.4 million in legal fees plus $10 million in costs from integrating the Park City-area resort into its system, which includes four resorts in Colorado, three around Lake Tahoe and smaller, urban resorts in Michigan and Minnesota.
Those legal fees appear to be paying off. Last week, a 3rd District judge rejected most of Park City Mountain Resort’s motions in its lawsuit to retain most of its mountainside, which it rented from Canyons’ owner, Talisker Corp. Judge Ryan Harris ruled PCMR failed to renew its lease on time. A PCMR attorney said the company would appeal the decision.