Vail Resorts making Whistler its priority

The big news Thursday from Vail Resorts wasn’t its quarterly earnings report, but instead the hefty investment coming to Whistler Blackcomb.

This is the second season the Broomfield, Colo.-based company has owned the Canadian resort. The $52 million cash infusion for next year will include a 10-passenger gondola, a new six-pack lift and a high-speed quad. The goal is to improve lift capacity by 43 percent.

In October, Bloomberg reported, “In the next seven years, Vail will invest $276 million in capital improvements at Whistler, on and off the mountain.”

The ski resort behemoth that owns Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar in California is planning a companywide capital outlay of $150 million in 2018. Specifics will be released in the spring. It is not known if the Tahoe properties will see any of that money.

As for the earnings, the company on Dec. 7 reported a $28.4 million net loss. A year ago the first quarter loss was $62.2 million. It is normal for Vail Resorts to post a loss in the first quarter, which ended Oct. 31, because the ski resorts aren’t open.

A bright spot is season pass sales as of Dec. 3 are up 14 percent for the number sold and 20 percent higher in revenue compared this time last year.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report

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