Tren Griffin+ Your Authors @trengriffin I work for Microsoft. Previously I was a partner at Eagle River, a private equity firm established by Craig McCaw. I am on the board of directors of Kymeta. Dec. 17, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

1/ Since it is skiing season in the northern hemisphere, thinking about the unit economics of a season pass is topical. What is the owner of the resort(s) trying to optimize? What data does their growth team have? What are the complementary products they can sell with the pass?

2/ The Ikon pass issuer is privately held, so data on revenue per visit must come from the Epic Pass issuer:

"The effective ticket price dropped to $69, down from $71 a year ago, as Epic passholders averaged more visits in 2018-19 than in 2017-18." 

3/ Rusty Gregory [the CEO of the company who sells IKON] says the company tries to get people to ski as much as possible: the revenue split is 50/50 between hospitality and tickets."

"Today, 40% of skiers have passes, whereas traditionally, the number was 30% Gregory says."

4/ Vail uses to "effective ticket price" (ETP), "which compares lift revenue to the total number of skier visits. Between fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2018, ETP increased 22.5% cumulatively, which shows how effective the company has been at squeezing more revenue out of each visitor."

5/ "When someone moves from a paid lift ticket to a season pass, we tend to see higher frequency and that helps ancillary as well." "The average U.S. skier and snowboarder hit the slopes fewer than six times during the 2017-18 season."

New passes track skiers using RFID.

6/ "Not everyone uses the passes. Sure, some people will buy a season pass and ski 100 days. Others will buy a pass thinking they’ll get to the slopes often—and then use it just a few times, if at all. Think of it like buying a year’s membership to a gym." 

7/ 25iQuiz: "During the 2017-2018 ski season, there were 72.5M total ski visits in North America, and 16% went to Vail Resorts properties." If Vail earns $69 as an "Effective Ticket Price" how much revenue does it earn from hospitality/overseas tickets? 

You can follow @trengriffin.


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