VAIL, Colo., March 15, 2004–Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. (“Booth Creek” or the “Company”) announced today results for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004.
Resort operations revenues were $47,315,000 for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, an increase of $800,000, or 2 percent, from the level of revenues generated during the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31, 2003. Total skier visits increased from 913,000 visits for the 2003 period to 953,000 visits for the 2004 period, an increase of 4 percent, due to the combined effect of the following:
– Total skier visits for the Company’s Lake Tahoe resorts (Northstar and Sierra) for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004 increased by 29,000 visits, or 7 percent, from the 2003 period, primarily as a result of an earlier opening at Sierra as compared to the prior season.
– For the first half of the 2003/04 ski season, the northeastern United States experienced relatively inconsistent weather patterns, including, at varying times, major snowstorms, warm temperatures, periods of heavy rainfall, and, for most of January 2004, extended periods of bitterly cold temperatures. Due to the weather volatility, skier volumes at the Company’s New Hampshire resorts for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004 declined by 84,000 visits, or 25 percent, from the level of skier visitation during the comparable period of the 2002/03 season.
– As compared to the difficult 2002/03 season, the Pacific Northwest experienced a return to more normal weather patterns for the first half of the 2003/04 ski season, resulting in a significant rebound in skier visitation at the Company’s Summit resort in Washington. For the 2003/04 season, the Summit opened slightly ahead of schedule on Nov. 29, 2003 as compared to an opening date of Dec. 27, 2002 for the 2002/03 season. As a result of the earlier opening for the 2003/04 season and substantially improved conditions, skier visits for the Summit for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004 increased by 95,000 visits, or 62 percent, from the corresponding period in the prior year.
For the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, recognized season pass revenues, which rose 4 percent to $9,963,000 for the 2004 period, as well as increased snow school, equipment rental, retail and food and beverage sales, offset the impact of reduced lift ticket sales due to changes in the mix of skier visits at certain of the Company’s resorts. Sales of season pass products, which are expected to increase by approximately 11 percent in total for the 2003/04 season as compared to the $19,772,000 in season passes sold for the 2002/03 season, are recognized ratably over the expected ski season. The difference between the level of increase in recognized season pass revenues between the first fiscal quarters of 2004 and 2003 and the expected increase in total season pass products between the 2003/04 and 2002/03 seasons is primarily due to later scheduled openings for the 2003/04 season.
Cost of sales and selling, general and administrative expense applicable to the resort segment totaled $33,310,000 for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, an increase of $693,000, or 2 percent, from the 2003 period.
Operating income for the resort segment for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004 was $10,402,000 compared to operating income of $10,075,000 for the corresponding period in 2003. Resort operations contributed EBITDA (as defined below) of $14,005,000 for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, compared with resort operations EBITDA of $13,898,000 for the corresponding period in 2003.
Revenues from real estate operations for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004 were $8,498,000, which was due to (i) the close of escrow on the final three lots within the Unit 7A subdivision at Northstar for an aggregate sales price of $2,798,000, (ii) the transfer and sale of certain development real estate at Northstar, which contributed revenues of $5,610,000 and (iii) the sale of a single faamily lot at Loon Mountain for $90,000. There were no real estate sales during the 2003 period. Timber operations at Northstar contributed revenues of $16,000 for the 2003 period.
Cost of sales, depletion and selling, general and administrative expense for the real estate and other segment totaled $2,011,000 for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, as compared to $316,000 for the 2003 period. The results for the 2004 period included noncash cost of real estate sales (as defined below) of $1,590,000 related to the real estate sales described above.
Operating income for the real estate and other segment was $6,487,000 for the 2004 period, as compared to an operating loss of $300,000 in the 2003 period. Real estate and other operations generated EBITDA (excluding noncash cost of real estate sales) (as defined below) of $8,077,000 for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, compared with an EBITDA loss from real estate and other operations of $293,000 in the 2003 period.
Interest expense was $3,056,000 for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, as compared to $3,371,000 for the 2003 period, a reduction of $315,000, or 9 percent. The decline in interest expense for the 2004 period was primarily due to reduced borrowings and lower average interest rates.
The Company’s net income totaled $13,637,000 for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, an increase of $7,006,000 from the Company’s net income in the corresponding period of 2003, primarily as a result of the factors discussed above.
Total EBITDA (excluding noncash cost of real estate sales) (as defined below) was $22,082,000 for the fiscal quarter ended Jan. 30, 2004, as compared to total EBITDA of $13,605,000 for the 2003 period.
Booth Creek consists of six resorts across North America, including Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe in the Lake Tahoe region of Northern California; Waterville Valley, Mt. Cranmore Mountain Resort and Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; and the Summit at Snoqualmie near Seattle, Wash. Booth Creek is the fourth largest ski resort operator in the country (www.boothcreek.com).