NEWRY, Maine, Jan. 18 — American Skiing Company (NYSE: SKI) today announced that anticipated financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2000 ending January 30, 2000 will be below published analysts’ estimates.
Historically low snowfall and unseasonably warm temperatures in the major metropolitan markets of the northeast and in the Sierras significantly impacted skier visitation at the Company’s New England and Heavenly resorts. Based on the negative affects of early season weather, and the overall softness in the travel industry during the New Year’s holiday, the Company anticipates a 10 percent decline in company-wide skier visits for its second fiscal quarter, compared with the same period in 1999.
The Company stated that total revenues for the quarter are expected to be in the range of $110.0 million to $125.0 million, compared with $109.5 million in the corresponding period in fiscal 1999. Resort revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2000 are expected to be in a range of $95.0 million to $105.0 million versus $103.2 in fiscal 1999. Real estate revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2000 are expected to be in a range of $15.0 million to $20.0 million versus $6.3 million in fiscal 1999.
The Company expects earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to be in the range of $9.0 million to $12.0 million, compared with $14.5 million in the comparable period in fiscal 1999. Resort EBITDA for the second quarter of fiscal 2000 is expected to be in a range of $11.0 million to $15.0 million, compared with $16.0 million in the comparable period in fiscal 1999. Real estate EBITDA for the second quarter of fiscal 2000 is expected to be in a range of minus $2.0 million to minus $3.0 million, compared with a loss of $1.6 million in the comparable period in fiscal 1999. Actual results are expected to be announced in early March.
“Adverse weather conditions from coast to coast, coupled with the millennium travel malaise, led to extremely disappointing skier visits in the second fiscal quarter, which directly affects our top- and bottom-line,” said Leslie B. Otten, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Skiing Company. “In the east, Boston finally broke an unprecedented 304-day snow drought on January 13th, and out west Yosemite’s Tioga Pass, traditionally closed due to snow in the winter, was still open into early January for the first time in recorded history.”
“In terms of our real estate business, we delayed the openings of our Sundial Lodge and Grand Summit Hotel projects at The Canyons while the finishing touches are being completed,” Otten continued. “The Sundial Lodge began delivering units on December 20, and we anticipate a phased opening of the Grand Summit Hotel beginning in the latter half of next month. As a result, we will recognize most of the real estate revenue and corresponding EBITDA from these projects in our third and fourth fiscal quarters as both projects come fully online.”
“Looking ahead, we remain optimistic about our business,” Otten concluded. “We continue to see strong demand for our resorts, as indicated by a 10 percent increase in season pass sales, and strong reservations for the remainder of the ski season. Sales of our unique mEticket product, which allow our guests to pre-purchase discounted multi-day lift tickets for use at all American Skiing Company resorts (www.mEticket.com), have exceeded our expectations. The high quality and exceptional detail of the real estate product we are delivering at the Canyons, continues to reinforce our vision for that resort as a world class destination. Moreover, with recent snowfall in the east and in the west, market demand is increasing. We remain optimistic about the remainder of the ski season.”