Hi,My wife was an employee at Vail some years ago and I "married into" a few shares of MTN. I haven't looked into the financials yet, but wanted to know if anyone else had thoughts about the potential of this stock?MaxTMF Conan
TMF Conan,I actually started casually tracking this stock after I got a behind the scenes tour of Vail and a meeting with the developers with Vail Industries last year at a convention I was at. I know a little bit about development, and these guys are smart, savvy and know their business. Vail Industries is much more than Vail, CO, but I thought it was a good little insight into the mentality of the business, which is impressive.That doesn't always tranfer into a good balance sheet, and I actually have not taken the time to check if it does, but I think the stock is up 40-50% since last April when I started watching. I am also interested to know if anyone else has delved into this one.-Chuck
Conan, You might be interested in a book called "Powder Burn" about the history of Vail and the 1998 arson at the resort. Kind of an interesting examination of the ski industy and the issues facing the west and resort towns in general - water usage, development, big business vs. the little guy. I don't hold any stock in the company but love the area in the summertime...although personally I'm not a big fan of Vail Inc. Cheers, Kevinhttp://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1586481649/qid=1078329453//ref=pd_ka_1/104-6376305-0463126?v=glance&n=507846
navy,sounds interesting, thanks for the book rec. I actually grew up in a small ski town (Bozeman, MT) and know a bit about local attitdues towards big business (i.e. hatred). Looking a bit at the financial picture...wow, I figured it would be seasonal, but it's night and day...well in the red during summaer and fall, well in the black during winter and spring. I'm surprised that SG&A costs are so high in the summer with no lift operations and less employees. One thing I do like about this company is they seem to be pretty generous to employees. My wife said she received free passes, subsidized housing and a respectable salary.I doubt that there's huge upside in this company, but it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon either, to me this is one of those "better than a checking account" kind of stocks.Max
Guys,One of the things MTN is trying to do is balance that seasonal gap. They are doing this by expanding opportunities for recreation during the summer...hiking, camping, sight seeing, golf, etc...My wife and I have spent time in the Alps during the summer hiking - it was the most enjoyable experience I have had. We paid big $$ to get hauled up on the lifts to the top of ridges where we would walk for hours. Take the lift back down, have some dinner, do some shopping, stay in a nice B&B. We weren't the only ones - these places were all packed.In Vail, and in other ski resort towns, the entire town is owned and run by the resort. In other words, the costs of the lifts are marginal compared to the costs of the buildings and infrastructure. Fill up the town and the summer/winter income gap closes considerably.Like I said, I was impressed with their approach.-Chuck
I have been to Vail/Beaver Creek I think 4 times in the summer since 1994 (including my honeymoon), it really is a wonderful vacation spot and you can get some good deals (compared to the peak ski season prices)....still it is quite pricey compared to some places on the east coast (say White Mountains of NH)...there's not much that's reasonably priced so it will probably serve a fairly limited market - the kind of people who can afford to ski there in the winter...only it's a mindset issue - most people don't associate ski areas as a fun place to go in the summer - I know I was hesitant before I went the first time.
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