After the release of Whistler Blackcomb’s 2012 year-end financial results, ending September 30, 2012, the recently named top ski resort in North America is looking to end the year with a bang. After another early record snowfall, Whistler Blackcomb has announced that total visits for the year ending September 30, 2012 increased by 5.3% to 2.647 million visits, driven by a 20% increase in destination skier visits. One can only think that number will increase again this season given the cumulative snowfall at Whistler Blackcomb of 382 cm and a snow base of 158 cm early on in the 2012 ski season.
Summer Opportunities Continue To Grow in Whistler
An area of opportunity that continues to grow for Whistler Blackcomb is the increase in summer visits, as the resort received a record of 375,000 visits during the 2012 summer. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings, Dave Brownlie states, “Our solid fourth quarter benefited from increased visitation, which contributed to strong financial results for fiscal 2012” as indicated by an increase of 8.1 per cent in summer visitation and a revenue increase of 6.9 per cent to $27.4 million for the previous three months ending September 30, 2012. The increase in summer visitation was largely due in part to markets outside of North America.
“We have now completed two years as a publicly listed company and we have demonstrated success in driving increased destination skier visits and record season pass and frequency card sales. We began our 2012-13 ski season five days early on November 17 as a result of excellent snowmaking conditions and since then we have received more than 12 feet of natural snow. I am confident that we are well positioned for the season ahead.”
Smart Decisions Brings Success
Two key financial highlights indicate that smart decision making and an increase in visitation has helped Whistler Blackcomb increase its revenues year-over-year. For the year ending September 30, 2012, revenues increased to $236.4 million, an increase of $20.4 million, or 9.4 per cent year-over-year. Whistler Blackcomb indicates that this was driven by increases in destination skier visits and increases in summer visits for the purpose of sightseeing and bike park visits.
Increases in lift product pricing and yields received from increased destination guest visits led to an Effective Ticket Price (ETP) of $49.28 for the 2011/12 ski season. This is an increase of $2.22, or 4.7 per cent year-over-year.
Since Whistler hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the resort has seen increases in visits and revenues largely because of smart decision making and fantastic skiing conditions on both Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. Although slower than many would like, the resort has seen signs of recovery from the 2008 global recession and recently ended its era as an Intrawest owned resort. Since going public two years ago, Whistler Blackcomb has shown nothing but positive signs of growth indicating strong opportunities for vacation rentals.