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Wall Street analysts have a clear—if somewhat harsh—message for Vail Resorts amid reports of overcrowding, staff shortages, and poor management at its 40 ski areas.
“Digest what you have,” wrote Patrick Scholes of Truist Securities, one of 13 investment banks with employees assigned to analyze the company’s stock.
“Before [Vail Resorts] starts acquiring any more resorts, we would like to see it get the operational issues straightened out, especially at its more recently acquired resorts,” Scholes wrote in a February opinion. “We hope [Vail Resorts] addresses these issues at its upcoming investor day on March 22 and provides an action plan on what they intend to do on staffing issues and employee housing.”
Vail Resorts is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker MTN, and in recent years it has acquired multiple ski areas across the country. In 2021 it purchased three ski areas in Pennsylvania, and in 2019 it purchased Peak Resorts, a company that owned 17 different ski areas.
I don’t believe many skiing love affairs start with a burgundy 1990 Toyota Camry, but mine does. Growing up just outside Chicago, we called our family’s Camry “the fast car,” and most Friday nights my siblings and I piled into it and my dad zipped us around our town. I loved that car and lived for those end-of-the-week rides because they meant a blast into the curious and amazing world of skiing.
Those rides always ended at the same place: Blockbuster (place nostalgic sigh here). And there was one film, without fail, I always rented no matter what was on the new releases wall, no matter what my brothers and sister were eyeing: Ski Patrol The Movie.
It is not a good film. It didn’t do particularly well at the box office. It doesn’t have a good rating on Rotten Tomatoes or IMDb. Fancy film critics probably classify it as a preposterous mega turd that will lower your IQ. However, it is somehow still a great film.