Thank you to everyone for a great 51st season. It takes a lot of people, resources and moving parts to make everything work successfully.
We were proud to offer 122 days of skiing and riding to our customers this season, which was right on target with forecasts.
The ski area opened on the scheduled date of December 14. The opening week terrain was very typical and identical to six out of the last 10 seasons, with three lifts and four trails open with man-made snow. The trails included Crystal Ridge, Sunnyside, Lodgepole and School Yard.
Fortunately, with the lack of any natural snow, the weather cooperated in December with some ideal snowmaking temperatures. Last season, Diamond Peak’s Snow Surfaces team added additional pedestals/hookups around the mountain for the resort’s HKD high-efficiency tower snow guns, allowing for more strategic usage of these very productive pieces of snowmaking equipment. In addition, the team has been able to increase water pressure throughout the snowmaking system, allowing for increased productivity during snowmaking operations resort wide. Due to the increased snowmaking productivity, we were able to open Lakeview lift, Snowflake lodge, Ridge run, Popular and the Freeway ski trail in December just in time for the holidays.
The total skier visits for December were 26,515 and a little over 29,000 for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period, which was slightly below normal, but very good considering the conditions and the limited amount of open terrain.
January provided another month of no significant snowfall, marginal snowmaking temperatures, record high temperatures and a couple rain days. Again, due to the amazing work of our snowmaking crew, we managed to open Upper and Lower Show Off, Lakeview trails, and Great Flume trail shortly after. Although January visits were slightly down from projections with a total visit count of 26,208, the resort managed to meet revenue projections.
We experienced above normal temperatures in February, and had not seen any natural snow since January 23. The first week of February, the resort hosted the IVGID Community Appreciation Week. This weeklong event provided the opportunity for IVGID Picture Passholders and Punch Card holders to enjoy complimentary skiing/riding at Diamond Peak, including special events, live music, demo days, and other special offers. The President Day holiday week was also successful despite the lack of natural snow, producing 16,734 skier visits for the 10-day period.
The final skier visit count for February was 29,735. This was below normal skier visits; however, it was still good considering the subpar weather conditions. Total revenues were only 7% below the monthly projection.
As we entered into March, skiing and riding was available on 17 of the 31 developed trails, primarily on machine made snow. Given that, we had less than a foot of snowfall for the entire month of February, having over the half the runs open was a victory and again, a tribute to the ingenuity of our Snowmaking crew.
As you recall, the month of March started with about three feet of snowfall and we were able to quickly expand our terrain. After a couple more storms, by March 15 we were able to report 100% of our trails open. The great amount of snowfall also increased the skiers visiting the area.
For the month, the total visit count was around 30,000 visits, making it our third busiest March in Diamond Peak history, slightly under last year’s 31,000 skier visits. Also for the month, total revenues were 33% better than the projected.
The Easter holiday, combined with spring school breaks during the first week of April, we saw a daily average of 950 visits and 8,381 visits for the month. Revenues for April were approximately 50 percent greater than our projections.
Throughout the season, our Ski and Snowboard Schools taught a total of 18,000 adults and children. Our Child Ski Center taught 5,000 lessons to children, ages 7 to 12, and 5,700 lessons to children 7 years old or younger. This was well above our expectations. Our Ski Schools provided a multi-week ski lesson program to over 320 local children this winter as compared to 270 last season. 77% of the total lessons taught this winter were to kids 12 and under.
With plenty of warm weather for outside seating during the holiday periods, our Food & Beverage team provided an operating margin of 21% at the Main Base Lodge and Snowflake lodge provided a 43% operating margin.
The Ski and Snowboard Rental Shop also exceeded budget expectations with 21,500 rental units including the Hyatt Sport Shop. This season, the rental shop provided an operating margin of 81% for the season.
Total visits this season were just over 120,000, which is well above the average visit count for a low snow year. Additionally, we saw a daily average of 967 visits, a 1.8% increase over the average daily visit count, while revenues exceeded budget forecasts by 7.9%.
Thank our community members for their overwhelming support throughout the season. We are very appreciative of their time spent at the ski resort and are thrilled to offer a great experience to our community and their families. We look forward to seeing them next year!
Please remember you can view all of Diamond Peak’s financials at IVGID.org, under the financial transparency tab.
Diamond Peak General Manager