TMR released key season-to-date metrics for the winter season 2015/16 – for the period from the beginning of the winter season in November 2015 till April 17, 2016 – compared to the prior year season-to-date period. The comparison includes the hotels of TMR’s portfolio and mountain resorts – Jasná Nízke Tatry; Vysoké Tatry – Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec, and Štrbské Pleso; and Szczyrkowski ošrodek narciarski (SON) in Poland; and from leisure parks Aquapark Tatralandia. The evaluation does not include Silesian Amusement Park, which was closed during the winter season.
• Total sales for the winter season improved year-over-year by +5.5%
• The visit rate in Mountain Resorts, measured by the number of skier days, grew for the comparable period by +7.1%
• In Leisure Parks the number of visitors for the given period decreased year-over-year by -5.1%
• Hotels’ occupancy improved in weighted average by +2.8 percentage points and average daily rate jumped up by +4.4%
• Ski pass sales for the given period were up by +1.6%
• Sales from Leisure Parks were up +6.1%
• Hotels’ sales increased year-over-year by +6.4%
• Sales from Dining were up +12.9% and from Sports Services & Stores +19.6%
Bohuš Hlavatý, TMR‘s CEO, commented on the season’s interim results: “Despite the fact that the past winter was yet again one of the warmer and drier ones, we can describe it as a successful one. We are pleased that our clients have not been discouraged by weather and they spent their vacations and getaways in the Tatra outdoors. This was achieved for the most part by offering special deals for clients in the Gopass program, by an increase in the number of season pass holders, and mainly by our focus on the quality of services provided on the slope, in dining, and lodging, which was confirmed by significant increases in these segments. Besides that, growth was also supported by events in our resorts, such as the Ice Dome at Hrebienok or the very successful Women’s World Cup, which we managed to organize in Jasná after 32 years.”
The Season’s Start, Christmas, and New Year
We kicked off the winter season in the Tatras with skiing on December 4, 2015 by managing to open the first trails on the north and south side of Mt. Chopok in Jasná and trails at Štrbské Pleso. Since December 5 10 km of trails were open for skiing at Mt. Chopok with all entry gates, and for the first time ever we managed to open the Predné Dereše trail on December 5. During Christmas and the “Golden Week” (the period after Christmas till Epiphany) we observed our guests’ increased demand for stays in the Tatras with skiing. Mountain resorts in the High and Low Tatras were packed, even though at the beginning of the holidays snow conditions were not ideal, our guests enjoyed fun on the slope, relaxed in wellness spas, or in the Liptovian Aquapark Tatralandia. Although the majority of the area was covered by fog, and weather looked more like spring, skiers in the Tatras enjoyed good conditions for skiing, and the resorts managed to open 80% of the Tatra trails during the holidays. Výška technického snehu na zjazdovkách bola v priemere od 30-50 cm. Gradually by nearing New Year’s Eve and the New Year snow conditions on the trails have improved. Freezing temperatures enabled us to launch snowmaking guns again.
With hotel stays we observed increases of arrivals from neighboring countries, but domestic guests made up the majority, followed by Czech- and Polish-speaking guests that returned more in the form of group stays. Holiday stays filled our hotels to the limit. The Russian Golden Week was enjoyed predominantly by families with children in TMR hotels while skiing, sledding, or winter hiking. Despite the fact that in the past we used to have a major share of Ukrainian and Russian clients in our hotels, we are pleased that the trend in the observed period is not downward sloping, but the share of these nationalities remained at around the level of the prior year.
The number one Tatra attraction, the Ice Dome at Hrebienok, enjoyed a great interest during the holidays; on Sundays it hosted concerts of musical groups, folk musicians, and classical music. Our guests celebrated the New Year’s Eve in the pools of Aquapark Tatralandia and in the Vysoké Tatry resort at Štrbské Pleso, where a snow flake was symbolically christened. The Tatras’ guests were enjoying an ancillary après-ski program; the morning skiing – Fresh Track; dining experiences at Full Moon Dinner at Mt. Chopok; Sky of Stars Dinner at Skalnaté pleso; or the traditional Tatra Dinner Experience at the Start station of Tatranská Lomnica.
Spring Break, Easter, and Spring Skiing
All in all, we had a very good visit rate during the spring break, which compared to the Christmas period, but also a very strong Easter, during which our visitors came for a getaway in the mountains accompanied by skiing, visit of the Ice Dome, or relaxation in Aquapark Tatralandia.
On February 16 for skiing enthusiasts we opened the trail with the highest elevation from Lomnické sedlo with 150cm of natural snow and very good skiing conditions. The visitors of the Jasná resort came for the unique atmosphere at the Women’s World Cup during March 5-7. This event returned Jasná back on the world skiing map.
Easter break was rather strong in terms of the mountain resorts’ visitation. Skiers enjoyed great snow conditions in the Tatras and a sunny weather. The operating hours of the cableways have been prolonged so skiers could enjoy Tatra skiing longer.
Since some resorts in Slovakia ended the winter season before or after Easter, in our resorts skiers could enjoy spring skiing on sunny slopes and sunbath even after Easter. For the spring skiing from March 30 we lowered ski pass rates in Jasná by 7 euros and in Vysoké Tatry by 5 euros compared to the Main Season. By purchasing the advanced season ski pass for next season, called Smart Season Pass, interested clients could enjoy skiing during April for 49 euros.
On ski slopes during the season in Jasná and Vysoké Tatry 63% of our clients were domestic, followed by clients from Poland (17%), and Czechia (9%). Hungarian visitors made up 3.5% of the total, Russian clients 2%, and clients from the U.K. 1%. 3.7% were from other countries, such as Belorussia, Germany, the Baltic states, Austria, or Romania.
The winter season 2015/16 lasted 136 days in Vysoké Tatry and estimated 143 days in Jasná (till April 24), since this week skiing is still going on in Jasná on two trails with 55 cm of snow.
Season in Poland
The skiing season in Polish Szczyrk started on January 1, 2016 and lasted till March 28. We evaluate the season as average to weaker as we still had to operate with old and inefficient snowmaking system. Our guests were coming from around 20-50 km from the SON resort. They were deciding on their skiing trips spontaneously without advanced planning. They preferred short-term two- to three-day stays (64%), came to our resort on a family vacation with children (37%), or as a group of friends (31%). The reason for choosing SON by our clients was its good access, good natural conditions, and the client’s emotional ties to the resort.
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. (TMR) is the leader in tourism in Central and Eastern Europe; it owns and operates attractive mountain resorts, leisure parks, dining facilities, sports services and stores, and hotels. In the Low Tatras TMR owns and operates the resort Jasná Nízke Tatry and hotels Wellness hotel Grand Jasná, Boutique Hotel Tri Studničky, Chalets Jasná De Luxe, Hotel Srdiečko, and Hotel Rotunda. TMR is also the owner of Aquapark Tatralandia, the largest Slovak aquapark with year-round operation, which besides water entertainment includes Tropical Paradise, a special tropical indoor hall with sea water, as well as Fun Park, and accommodation in bungalows and apartments of Holiday Village Tatralandia. In the High Tatras TMR owns and operates the resort Vysoké Tatry with mountain areas of Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec, and Štrbské Pleso, which TMR co-manages. In the High Tatras TMR also owns hotels Grandhotel Praha Tatranská Lomnica, Grandhotel Starý Smokovec, and Hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso. TMR also indirectly owns a 9.5% share in Melida, a.s., which leases and operates the resort Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic. In Poland TMR owns a 97% share in the mountain resort Szczyrkowski Ośrodek Narciarski S.A. (SON), a 75% share in Silesian Amusement Park (Śląskie Wesołe Miasteczko), and a 7.3% share in a learn-through-fun project via the Polish company Korona Ziemi Sp. z o.o. TMR also owns and leases hotels Slovakia, Kosodrevina, Liptov and Ski&Fun Záhradky a Bungalovy to third parties. By the end of 2015 EUR 206 mil. had been invested into development and modernization of TMR’s resorts. TMR shares are traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw.