Intrawest CEO says real estate market is ‘primed,’ ready for development | SteamboatToday.com

Intrawest CEO says real estate market is ‘primed,’ ready for development

Intrawest plans to build a mini golf course at the Steamboat Ski Area. Intrawest has a course at Blue Mountain in Ontario, Canada.

— During an earnings report Thursday, executives with Intrawest, the parent company of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., said the real estate market was ripe for development at its resorts.

“Our head of real estate, he’s been working very, very hard with our outside architects and master planning firm,” CEO Tom Marano said. “We have a number of good possible opportunities there.”

Marano, who joined Intrawest in November 2014, was CEO of a large, residential mortgage firm, Residential Capital, from 2008 to 2013. He also held a variety of positions throughout a 25-year career with Bear Stearns.

Marano pointed out that the retail price for quality resort properties has gone up about $150 per square foot. Additionally, he said, the newest developments have essentially sold out, and there is limited inventory.

According to Intrawest, the land value of its Steamboat real estate holdings is $51 million.

At Steamboat, Intrawest has an option to purchase a parcel of land behind The Steamboat Grand hotel, and it owns the parking garage across the street, as well as the Knoll and Meadows surface parking lots.

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“Nothing to report right now as far as a specific project, but the market is primed and is ready for us to do something,” Marano said.

Despite warm weather at its ski resorts out east, Marano and CFO Travis Mayer reported quarterly earning that were above expectations. The quarter, which ended March 31, encompasses the peak ski season and the largest and most important quarter of the fiscal year, Marano said.

“Our Colorado resorts experienced growth across all lines of business due to strong visitation and growth and yield driving average revenue per visit for the company up 11 percent and effective ticket price up 13 percent,” Marano said.

During the quarter, Intrawest generated a profit of $175.5 million, an increase of $45.8 million from the previous year.

Intrawest operates six ski resorts, as well as the Canadian Mountain Holidays helicopter company in Canada. Intrawest does not report the financial performance of its resorts individually.

Due to a warm winter, skier visits were down 18 percent at Intrawest’s resorts out east.

Total lift ticket revenue for the quarter at Intrawest’s ski resorts was $134.8 million. Lodging was $23.9 million, ski school was $22.8 million, retail and rental was $29.6 million, food and beverage was $30.8 million and “other” was $13.5 million.

“Lift revenue was the largest contributor to our growth, again confirming the strength and performance of our season pass and frequency product programs,” Mayer said. “Season pass and frequency product programs increased 7.5 percent and comprised 41.7 percent of lift revenue versus 39.1 percent in the third quarter last year."

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland