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Vail Resorts facing issues with operations as demand rises

Vail Resorts has seen a "blizzard of problems" this season as the pandemic is making the "slopes slippier for many ski resorts across North America as they struggle to find enough qualified workers to handle their busy winter season," according to Allison Pohle of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. There were "long lines for chairlifts at major Vail resorts in Colorado, Utah and California over the holidays," and "angry customers aired their complaints on social media." Other properties "diminished their hours and operations." The company is trying to "manage a surge of season pass holders lured by a steep discount" that caused "demand for those passes to skyrocket." Vail Resorts said that it "reduced operations at 11 resorts," as the average wait times for lift lines at its resorts were "under 10 minutes 90% of the time during the holiday season." Skier visits were "down 1.7% for the season through Jan. 2 -- when some of its operations were reduced -- compared with the prior-year period." Lift ticket revenue was "up nearly 26%." The added test for Vail and other resorts is that demand for skiing is "robust as more people spend time outdoors and seek distractions from the pandemic." Vail offered a 20% "price reduction on its well-known Epic passes," and is expected to "sell 2.1 million Epic pass products -- 700,000 more than last season" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/16).

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