TMR released key season-to-date metrics for the winter season 2017/18 – for the period from November 1, 2017 till April 11, 2018 – compared to the prior year season-to-date period. The comparison includes mountain resorts – Jasná Nízke Tatry; Vysoké Tatry – Tatranská Lomnica, Starý Smokovec, and Štrbské Pleso; and Szczyrk Mountain Resort in Poland; from leisure parks Aquapark Tatralandia; and the hotels of TMR’s portfolio in Slovakia. The comparison does not include Legendia – Silesian Amusement Park, which was closed during the winter season, and the Ještěd mountain resort, which TMR started to operate during the winter season.
• Total sales for the winter season improved year-over-year by +30.8%
• The visit rate in Mountain Resorts, measured by the number of skier days, grew for the comparable period by +24.6%
• In Leisure Parks the number of visitors for the given period increased year-over-year by +2.2%
• Hotels’ occupancy improved in weighted average by +3.7 percentage points and average daily rate jumped up +12.0%
• Ski pass sales for the given period were up +33.9%
• Sales from Leisure Parks increased +5.3%
• Hotels’ sales increased year-over-year by +31.1%
• Sales from Dining were up +30.7% and from Sports Services & Stores +27.7%
Bohuš Hlavatý, TMR‘s CEO, commented on the season’s interim results: “We see the 2017/18 winter season as a very successful one, in terms of sales and yet again an increased visit rate in our resorts, but also in terms of favorable snow conditions, although at the beginning of the season almost all the resorts were hit by a devastating windstorm. This season again we managed to provide a varied offer of accompanying events and ancillary services that were popular among all age groups, from skiing enthusiasts to families with children. The season was a breakthrough thanks to the implementation of the new self-service ticket machines – GOPASS Points, which extended options to purchase a discounted ski pass directly in the resort. Not only do we bring revolutionary technological solutions in new cableways, hotels, or restaurants, but also through an innovative sales channel. The Smart Season Pass with its variations was again this season’s number one hit. Our Polish Szczyrk resort entered this season with new investments, which resulted in twice the number of clients in comparing to the prior season. We are also satisfied with the cooperation with our competitor lodging facilities both at home and abroad. Our loyalty client program GOPASS grew to almost 600 thousand members, and we believe that after a successful winter season we will continue with a successful summer season.”
Beginning of the season, Christmas, and New Year
The winter season kicked off on December 1, 2017 at Mt. Chopok on six slopes and at Štrbské Pleso on three slopes. Also thanks to early snowmaking that was launched in mid-November the snow coverage in December reached 40 cm. The winter in the Tatras showed its full power, and for the fifth time visitors of Hrebienok could visit the unique Tatra Ice Dome, which opened to public on December 8. The Catalan cathedral, Sagrada Familia, was the theme of Tatra Ice Dome this time, and 190 tons of ice were used to build it. On December 9 the resort of Tatranská Lomnica kicked off the skiing season with five ski trails and 40-50 cm of snow. The abundant snow coverage even enabled the operation of the ski trail with the highest elevation in Lomnické sedlo, where the snow coverage reached 150 cm. Thus, opening of the mostly awaited skiing season’s highlight on the steepest Tatra slope came earlier this year. On December 10 Jasná and later also Tatranská Lomnica were hit by a devastating windstorm that limited the operations for several days. After removing the damage of the storm skiers enjoyed very good snow conditions on both sides of Mt. Chopok, at Štrbské Pleso, in Starý Smokovec, and Tatranská Lomnica. A strong gusty wind hit the Tatra resorts also during Christmas holidays.
The occupancy of TMR hotels in the High and Low Tatras for the Christmas period ranged between 75 and 90% already at the end of November depending on the hotel type and date. Hotels near ski trails, i.e. ski in and ski out facilities, were demanded most. The occupancy at the beginning of December reached on average 90% with the most vacancies in the aquapark. The TMR hotels were again fully occupied during peak periods of Christmas holidays, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Besides clients from traditional markets, such as Slovakia, Czechia, Poland, also visitors from Germany stayed in the hotels during Christmas. During the New Year’s period the number of guests from Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, and USA increased year-over-year.
Spring break, Easter, and spring skiing
Families with children used very good skiing conditions with an average snow coverage of 80 cm in the Tatra resorts to learn to ski during the one-week break or to enjoy themselves on the slopes and in thermal spas. Despite an unfavorable weather during the spring break in the mountains, the highest occupancy was observed during the break of the mid-Slovak district thanks to very good snow conditions and thanks to the fact that it was the same period of the Polish and Czech spring break. A somewhat lower demand was observed during the break of the West Slovak district, which was during March as opposed to last year. The lowest demand was observed during the break of the East Slovak district despite better snow conditions as opposed to last year. In the TMR hotels in the High Tatras the total occupancy increased 3% compared to last year.
With the arrival of spring the ski pass price list changed from April 4. One-day ski pass prices decreased by 5-7 euros as opposed to the main season. Easter at the beginning of April ended the skiing season in smaller resorts, but not at Mt. Chopok and in Vysoké Tatry. Variable rainy weather mixed with extremely high temperatures also in the mountains impacted the snow coverage and its quality. Since April 16 the cableways in all the resorts are undergoing the regular spring maintenance, and the cableway operation will be relaunched depending on weather conditions only during weekends.
The Smart Season Pass holders club
The Smart Season Pass holders club this past winter season has skied the total of 5.145 mil. kilometers in the resorts. The most productive skier was a 29-year old native of Liptovský Mikuláš who skied the total of 5,558 km in the observed period from 1/12/2017 to 2/4/2018 during 100 days on the ski slopes with the average of 55.6 km per day and 1,985 rides.
On the ski slopes of Jasná and Vysoké Tatry domestic visitors made up 68.6%, followed by clients from Poland (13.1%) and Czechia (8.2.%). The winter season 2017/18 in the Tatra resorts as of April 17 has been running for 136 days.
Season in Poland
The skiing season in the Polish Szczyrk began on December 22, 2017 and lasted till April 3, 2018, the total of 103 days of skiing. A very warm weather at the beginning of December hindered snowmaking necessary to launch skiing. A very strong gusty wind was another problem, which disabled the resort’s cableway operation for five days. Thanks to weather improvement in the second half of January the Szczyrk resort achieved stable and good skiing conditions. Szczyrk offered its visitors 16 km of ski trails on 50 ha. The resort kicked off the skiing season with two new 6-seat cableways and one 10-person gondola and a new ski trail for families with children. Despite the weather fluctuations and thanks to the modern technical snowmaking, new infrastructure, and free ski bus service the number of the resort’s clients doubled in comparing with the prior season.
Season in Czechia (Ještěd)
The slopes of Ještěd opened for skiers on December 14, 2017, and the season lasted till March 18, 2018, the total of 87 days. The north side with 6 km of ski trails combining red and black trails was the priority. In January with regard to natural conditions it was not possible to cover the whole resort with snowmaking. The less difficult southern slopes of Pláně aimed for families with children were not operational at all. The Ještěd ski resort with regard to the outage of a third of the resort achieved an adequate visit rate. The urban ski resort in Liberec positions itself as one-of-a-kind in whole Czechia and Europe. It offers one-day skiing available thanks to its location especially for skiers from Prague and visitors from Central and Northern Czechia. There are also Poles and Germans present on the market. Skiing community impatiently awaits the planned modernization of the whole ski resort. In the first phase restaurants, ski rentals and ski schools will undergo changes, to be followed by addition of the ski trail, Nová Skalka, and expansion of the remaining ski trails. A new water retention reservoir, a snowmaking system, ski trails lighting, and new cableways are planned, as well. Liberec, a town beneath Ještěd, will soon become a very sought-after skiing destination.
Tatry mountain resorts, a.s. (TMR) is the leader in tourism in Central and Eastern Europe; it owns and operates attractive mountain resorts, amusement parks, restaurant facilities, sports services, shops 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, Hotel FIS Štrbské Pleso and Mountain hotel Hrebienok. TMR also owns a 9.5 % share in Melida, a.s., which leases and operates the resort Špindlerův Mlýn in the Czech Republic. TMR also leases and operates the ski resort Ještěd. In Poland TMR owns a 97% share in the mountain resort Szczyrkowski Ośrodek Narciarski S.A. (SON), a 75% share in a company that owns and operates Silesian Amusement Park (Śląskie Wesołe Miasteczko) and a 7.3% share in an amusementeducational 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 2017 EUR 300 mil. had been invested into development and modernisation of TMR’s resorts. TMR shares are traded on three European stock exchanges – in Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw.