Recently, more and more airlines are offering annual passes where you pay a fee upfront and you can book seats, given available capacity. The most interesting and highly discussed pass is offered by Frontier Airlines: “The pass is called GoWild and it allows passengers the chance to hop on any domestic or international Frontier flight. I bought the $1,999 annual pass for $600 during a limited-time 48-hour sale. While it may seem great,
Fantastic read! Loved the simplicity of the parameters and straightforward math.
This eerily reminds me of the business model around Movie Pass, among other companies who attempt the *Fixed Price; Unlimited Value*, business model.
I can imagine similar constraints exist with Ski Passes like IKON and EPIC.
1. Limited capacity during peak season
2. Lower unit margins when customers buy the pass than individual tickets
3. Similar customer sentiment around limited availability
4. Distinctions between flexible skiers (local ski-bum) and the affluent (likely limited to visit during school holidays, etc.))
although there are meaningful differences. Namely,
1. Less optionality for consumers: Nearly every major resort falls under the territory of either Vail and Alterra Mountain Company (owned by the same owners of Aspen/Snowmass). They control 52 resorts, in total (and likely growing). In Fiscal 2022, Vail Resorts' operating margin was 14% - a drastic improvement from 6% during COVID.
2. Ski Resorts have more diverse revenue streams: A smaller percentage of revenue from Ski Resorts come from "passes". In FY 2022, ~61% of Vail Resorts' revenue came from tickets, passes, and other forms of access. The remaining % is supplemented with categories like dining, ski school, retail, and hospitality, among others. For Delta, a little more than 80% of their revenue in FY 2022 came from passenger tickets. The remainder came from cargo, and "other". The immediate and obvious implication of this is that ski resorts have more flexibility here, and that net-losses within the business model are less significant.
This analysis also certainly becomes more nuanced when data is broken out with the different types of loyalty programs (All-You-Can-Fly Passes, Frequent flier programs, credit card points, etc.), and is very limited in datapoints (given n=1 for ski resorts and n=1 for airlines). I enjoyed, nonetheless.