Vail Resorts Base Case

By Tom Steinert-Threlkeld  |  Posted 2003-12-01 Print this article Print

A meltdown of the ski-resort operator's payroll system could not have come at a worse time. The resort was gearing up for winter and the travel industry already was in a slump. A technical queen—with some additional help—straightened out the mes

Vail Resorts Base Case

Headquarters: 137 Benchmark Rd., Avon, CO 81620

Phone Number: (970) 476-5601

Business: Operator of five luxury ski resorts in the U.S., including Vail and Breckenridge.

Project Leader: Vicki Silvera, director of information technology, back office and hospitality systems

Financials in 2003: Revenue of $710.4 million, net loss of $8.5 million, net margin of -1.2%.

Challenge: Consolidate payroll, accounts payable and other accounting systems as well as human-resources management across five ski resorts in Colorado, Nevada and California.

Baseline Goals:

  • Drive down operating expenses of $430.3 million a year, by cutting administrative labor.

  • Reduce back-office expenses as part of a $10-million cost-cutting effort launched in October 2002.

  • Support additional cost cuts, as part of a campaign to save $25 million in fiscal 2004.

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    Tom was editor-in-chief of Interactive Week, from 1995 to 2000, leading a team that created the Internet industry's first newspaper and won numerous awards for the publication. He also has been an award-winning technology journalist for the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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