Intrawest Corporation, the leading operator and developer of village-centered resorts across North America, announced that its 10 mountain resorts experienced strong occupancy and skier visits during the recent two-week holiday period. Intrawest recorded an unprecedented 1.3 million skier visits during the period from December 23, 2002 to January 5, 2003, up 12 per cent over the same period in the 2001-2002 winter season.
Seven resorts - Blue Mountain, Tremblant, Stratton, Snowshoe Mountain, Copper Mountain, Mammoth Mountain and Winter Park - set records for the two-week period. Tremblant and Blue Mountain set new single-day records while Whistler Blackcomb, North America’s most popular mountain resort, was within 200 visits of its record for the period.
“More and more people are discovering the attractions of our village-centered resorts and we continue to enjoy strong loyalty among our traditional customers. We can accommodate this increasing popularity because our resort bed base, which grew by 6,000 beds over the past two years alone, will continue to grow as we build out our villages over this decade,” said Daniel Jarvis, Intrawest’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We are also very pleased with the results of our new marketing and sales initiatives.”
The occupancy level over the two-week period at six resorts where Intrawest controls a significant amount of lodging - Blue, Copper, Mammoth, Snowshoe, Stratton and Tremblant - was 85 per cent, an 11 per cent increase in room nights over the same period a year ago.
Higher skier visit numbers were supported in part by strong season pass and frequency card sales from September 2002 to January 5, 2003. To January 5, revenue from season pass sales across all resorts increased by 12 per cent. Frequency card revenue increased by 25 per cent over the same period a year ago.
A solid turnout by overnight visitors drove strong performances in ski school, lodging and rental and repair businesses and contributed to an increase in revenue per skier visit of 3.3 per cent over the same two-week period in 2001-2002. This growth in revenue per visit was moderated somewhat by large increases in day skiers at Blue Mountain and Mountain Creek compared with the previous year. These visits typically generate lower revenue per visit.
Visits to Intrawest’s mountain resorts from the beginning of the winter season to January 5, 2003 were up over the prior year by 15 per cent at 1.9 million skier visits, and revenue per skier visit from the beginning of the current season to January 5, 2003 was up three per cent.
Intrawest Corporation (IDR:NYSE; ITW:TSX) is the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts across North America. The company owns or controls 10 mountain resorts, including Whistler Blackcomb, North America’s most popular mountain resort. Intrawest also owns Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida and has a premier vacation ownership business, Club Intrawest. The company has a 45 per cent interest in Alpine Helicopters Ltd., owner of Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and is located on the World Wide Web at www.intrawest.com.