I’m not going to pretend like I know jack-shit about the stock market, but I do know one thing- a company isn’t doing something right if their stock is dropping in price.
Vail Resorts is having a tumultuous season, to say the least. We’ve written plenty of articles about it over the last couple of months, and some stories have even hit mainstream media outlets.
It seems like Wall Street is paying attention.
Vail Resorts (MTN) has dropped significantly in the last year. A simple search on Google tells you all you need to know. The stock has plummeted from $321.97/share to $264.67/share at the writing of this article.
That’s nearly an 18% drop for those of you keeping score at home.
^Vail Resorts (MTN) stock YTD on February 22, 2022
We all like to make jokes about Vail Resorts these days, but a plummeting stock price is actually a bad thing for the ski industry.
Vail’s grip on 40+ properties makes them the largest single entity in the ski industry in North America. Losing market value will lead to more jobs cuts, restrictions on operating hours at their small properties, and an increased financial burden on the consumer.
On the other hand, some might argue that a falling stock price could incentivize Vail to get their shit together, but I’m not sure if that will be enough. Especially since they racked in a record number of pass sales this season by slashing the Epic Pass price. There doesn’t seem to be any significant consequences to their revenue stream for their actions.
Sure, Vail will take measures to stop the bleeding of their stock price, but at what cost? How many people will lose their jobs at the small once-mom-and-pop ski areas that Vail has acquired across the Midwest and East?
^Look no further than Wilmot Mountain, WI. The mountain struggled to open this season due to snowmaking while nearby resorts were up-and-running.
I know people love to make jokes about how Midwest and East Coast skiing isn’t as good as the west, and they’re probably right, but they’re missing the point. These mom and pop operations are what fuels a large portion of the skier base in this country. Hindering their operations will be detrimental to the skier base, and expanding the sport in the future.
Not everybody can afford to fly to Colorado, rent a car, book a hotel, pay for rentals, and wait in endless lines for a ski vacation. Many skiers are lucky if they even leave their home state for a day out on the mountain.
So, what’s my point in this rambling borderline-nonsensical article? I’m just scared. That’s really it. I’m scared that the North American ski experience is being ripped out from under our feet, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
^Dear Lord Baby Candide Thovex. Please save skiing. Please don’t let skiing die.
I’m actually hoping that Vail’s stock price improves for the health of the ski industry as a whole. I know that might sound crazy considering some of my recent articles, but that’s where I am at this point.
I’d rather see the mega-corporate overlords succeed if it means that the small properties they’ve acquired can operate.
It feels like a lose-lose, but again, that’s just where I’m at in the year of our lord, Candide Thovex, 2022. May his light shine bright over us all.
We need his spirit now, more than ever.