American Skiing upbeat despite loss

American Skiing Company, owner of Attitash Ski Resort in Bartlett and seven other resorts in Vermont, Maine, Colorado and Utah, reported a net loss of $42.2 million, or $1.33 per basic and diluted common share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

Season pass sales for the company were higher than last year, however, and guest reservation trends for the upcoming winter are strong, the company said.

The first-quarter loss was 12 percent more than last year’s first-quarter loss of $37.7 million, or $1.19 per basic and diluted common share.

While total consolidated revenue increased slightly from $19.5 million for first quarter 2005 to $20.1 million for the first quarter of 2006, revenue from resort operations was down from $17.8 million for the first quarter of 2005, to $17.1 million for first quarter 2006.

Decreased summer business at the company’s eastern resorts caused by poor weather and lower levels of group and conference business operations at Steamboat and The Canyons were cited as the reasons for the decrease in resort revenue, according to the firm.

Loss from resort operations of $40.8 million for first fiscal quarter 2006 marks a 10 percent increase over the $37.1 million loss during the comparable period fiscal 2005. In addition to the decrease in the above-mentioned revenues, increases in resort interest expense, repairs and maintenance expense, employee benefits, marketing, general and administrative expenses and increase in depreciation expense all contributed to this increase.

Nevertheless, increased sales of season passes and a strong start to the ski season have company officials appearing optimistic.

“While it is quite early in the season, we have enjoyed successes from our season pass initiatives,” said company CFO Betsy Wallace. “The East saw an October opening at Killington with the rest of our eastern resorts opening by Thanksgiving. In the West, abundant early season snowfall and cool winter temperatures for snowmaking have created fantastic conditions.” – TRACIE STONE

Categories: News