Archive for January, 2011

“Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Harry Lodge


I just finished a great book called “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and Harry Lodge.  If I can summarize, it explores aging and critical factors that can delay what we often think of as the inevitable signs of aging.  I’m a convert! 

The graph below is what we typically think aging will look and feel like:

 

This is the graph that Chris and Harry think should be the norm:

They believe we can have a thoroughly active life into our 80’s and 90’s by following Harry’s Rules, listed below:

1. Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life.
2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life
3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life.
4. Spend less than you make.
5. Quit eating crap.
6. Care.
7. Connect and commit.

I’m convinced and am giving it at try.

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Beaver Creek Ski Condition Update


It was negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit when I drove into the parking structure for my office in Beaver Creek this morning.  I love to ski but that is too cold for me to think about getting out and making some turns.

I did make it out yesterday when it was hovering around zero degrees but the sun did make an appearance.  It was an interesting day to say the least.  Beaver Creek reported 11 inches of new snow.  I think that was fairly accurate, although much of that fell during the day on Sunday.  I clearly didn’t have the correct wax on my skis for the temperature.  My skis kept grabbing throughout the day, making for inconsistent sliding. 

I started in Strawberry Park and enjoyed freshies on President Fords and Stacker.  After a few runs I headed over to Larkspur.  Yarrow was loads of fun.  I encountered places with over a foot of new snow.  The bumps were negotiable and really didn’t impact your line.  I made three runs down Yarrow then up Grouse.  I skied Screech Owl to take advantage of the powder.  Boy are the bumps huge!  I still struggle with big, powder covered bumps.  I need to be more aggressive. 

After a short break at Redtail Camp to rest my screaming legs, I headed off to Bachelor Gulch via Harrier to visit my lovely wife.  The lower black face on Harrier was probably my nicest run of the day.  A couple of chocolate cookies in Kim’s office helped revive my energy.

Three runs down Arrowhead got my heart pumping again.  Golden Bear and Little Brave were grippy and fun.  Cresta was a sheet of ice.  I’ll avoid that in the near future.  Then back to the office before my hands and nose froze.  All in all, a nice day.  Checking Epicmix, it added up to over 24,000 vertical feet.  No wonder my body was tired!

Ski conditions in Beaver Creek are excellent.  We have a 50 inch base, just about enough to test the tree skiing.  We are expecting some additional snow this weekend for the MLK holiday but I’ll be in Blue teaching for a few days.  Should be fun.

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Vail Resorts Reports Certain Ski Season Metrics for the Season to Date Period Ended January 6, 2011


BROOMFIELD, Colo., Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) today reported certain ski season metrics for the comparative periods from the beginning of the ski season through January 6, 2011, and for the prior year period through January 7, 2010, with both periods including the holiday period through the Thursday after New Year’s Day.  The data mentioned in this release is interim period data and subject to fiscal quarter end review and adjustments.

Highlights

  • Season to date total lift ticket revenue at the Company’s six mountain resort properties, adjusted as if Northstar-at-Tahoe (acquired in October 2010) was owned in both periods, and including an allocated portion of season pass revenue for each applicable period, was up approximately 7.4% through January 6, 2011, compared to the prior year season to date period ended January 7, 2010.
  • Season to date total skier visits for the Company’s six mountain resort properties, adjusted as if Northstar-at-Tahoe was owned in both periods, were up approximately 10.1% through January 6, 2011, compared to the prior year season to date period ended January 7, 2010, including higher utilization by season pass holders.
  • Season to date ancillary spending at the Company’s six mountain resort properties, adjusted as if Northstar-at-Tahoe was owned in both periods, increased significantly, with revenue from ski school up 11.5%, dining up 13.3%, and retail/rental up 17.5% through January 6, 2011, compared to the prior year season to date period ended January 7, 2010.  

Commenting on the ski season to date, Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer said, “Our early season visitation was strong, especially as our growing season pass holder base enjoyed the outstanding snow conditions across all of our mountain resorts.  While the Christmas to New Year’s week was negatively impacted by storm related challenges in the Northeast that kept some of our guests at home, as well as two days of unusually cold temperatures in Colorado, we feel great about results to date and the momentum we have going into the remainder of the season.  Importantly, we observed strong ancillary spending, yielding gains in all categories that outpaced lift ticket revenue growth and marked a continuation of the improving consumer spending trends we first reported in the spring of 2010.  Furthermore, in our first season of operation, we are pleased with the performance of Northstar-at-Tahoe, as it is showing improved results to date over the prior year.  Northstar is proving to be a great addition to our family of premier resort properties and Tahoe area skiers have embraced the opportunity to ski our two Tahoe resorts on one pass product, which contributed to the strong growth in visitation by season pass holders.  We also saw strong revenue growth across our lodging division and are seeing a continued strong booking pace at all of our resorts.”

Below is a table highlighting the season to date metrics for our six resort properties, adjusted to include Northstar-at-Tahoe as if it was owned in both periods.  Had Northstar-at-Tahoe been excluded for both periods, the results would have been similar to those reported.  

   
Season to Date Metrics Adjusted for Northstar-at-Tahoe(1)

(% change from prior period)

 
       
Season to Date

1/6/11 vs. 1/7/10

 
Lift Ticket Revenue 7.4 %  
Ski School Revenue 11.5 %  
Dining Revenue 13.3 %  
Retail/Rental Revenue 17.5 %  
       
Skier Visits 10.1 %  
       
(1)Adjusted to reflect as if Northstar-at-Tahoe were owned in both periods.  
   

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Update on The Ascent Residences (previously The Gates)


The project has been well received.  The 49 units came on the market the week before Christmas and as of today, 25 residences are under contract.  This exceeds what I had expected and clearly shows there are buyers out there waiting for good deals.  The new owners did a good job updating and remodeling the building and the pricing plan obviously hit the mark.  Click on the link below to see the latest price list for the Ascent. 

Pricelist 1-1-11

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Beaver Creek Skiing Conditions


I worked hard teaching skiing over the holidays.  It was great fun meeting new folks and helping them with their skiing.  The week before Christmas we had a very odd weather pattern come through.  It was called the “Banana Express” and it was a very warm storm.  We did get new snow on the mountain but we also received rain in the valleys and on the lowest slopes.  My first day teaching I finished  the day with my parka soaked from the heavy, wet snow.  But my clients and I had fun and after a couple of days ended up on the top of the mountain where conditions were excellent. 

Christmas week brought colder temperatures but some damage had been done by the warm temperatures.  We received a few new inches of snow but not enough to eliminate the icy patches created by the warm weather.  Still, most of the mountain is covered and the skiing is good.  A bitter cold front came through a couple of days ago (-6 in Eagle) and kept me off the slopes.  It is supposed to warm up a little this week and we are supposed to receive a little new snow.  Overall it has been an excellent season so far.

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Pending home sales up 3.5% in November


By Steve Goldstein

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Pending home sales rose 3.5% in November, according to an index released Thursday. The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose to 92.2 from a downwardly revised 89.1 in October. The index is still 5% below November 2009 levels. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20% of transactions for existing-home sales.

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