Vail Resorts owns 5 ski resorts in Colorado, California, and Nevada, along with a luxury hotel chain and several golf courses. However, 63% of Vail's 2009 revenue came from its ski resorts business., which includes Vail Mountain, Breckenridge Mountain, and Keystone Resort - the first, second and fourth most visited ski resorts in the U.S. in 2009 respectively..
Since such a large percentage of revenues is tied to skiing, Vail's business is seasonal as its resorts are busy from November to March but relatively empty in the summer months. Business is also impacted by outside factors such as the weather - unseasonably warm winters hurt revenues - and changes in holiday schedules, such as when Christmas falls in the middle of a work week, limiting vacation time. Although the resort industry as a whole is affected by the general economic slowdown and changes in consumer spending, Vail Resorts is less vulnerable as it mainly caters to a niche of high-end consumers (the average household income for visitors of Vail's ski resorts is $175,000). Also, research has shown little correlation between changes in economic variables (such as U.S. GDP growth and the income of the top 20% of U.S. households) and skier visits to U.S. resorts.(Read more at Wikinvest )