Vail Resorts Report Net Loss in First Quarter

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Vail, Colo. Dec. 19, 2001 (AP)--Vail Resorts said Wednesday it lost $24.4 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year, citing seasonal factors, marginal autumn snowfall and a drop in travel after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The loss for the three months ended Oct. 31 amounted to 70 cents per diluted share. In the same period last year, Vail reported a loss of $21.2 million, or 61 cents a share.

The consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call was for earnings of 73 cents a share.

Overall revenue for the quarter rose 5.5 percent to $74.3 million versus $70.4 million a year earlier.

Revenue from its resorts fell 5.4 percent to $57.4 million, but revenue rose 77 percent from real estate to $15.9 million and 57 percent to $1.1 million from technology.

Vail has bought several hotels recently.

Chairman and chief executive Adam Aron said the resort was hopeful because of heavy snowfall since Thanksgiving Day, but said he expected the drop in vacation travel since the attacks to be felt through the fiscal year.

``Aggressive cost reduction efforts have been accompanied by a myriad of sales and marketing initiatives to optimize performance in what looks to be a sobering year,'' Aron said.

This year, resort officials are curtailing hiring efforts, freezing wages and suspending bonuses.

Vail operates the resorts Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Its Rockresorts luxury resort hotel company operates 11 resort hotels throughout the nation.

In trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange, Vail shares fell 7 cents to close at $18.17.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press