Take me to the mountaintop…

October 5, 2005

Earlier today, Vail Resorts (MTN) reported results for fiscal 2005. At the same time, the company filed its hefty (220 pages) 10-K, which should give investors plenty to read, particularly when it comes to the company’s lengthy disclosures of risk factors and related party transactions. In the past, the SEC has criticized the company for not providing enough details in both sections, sending out comment letters to the company asking for more details. But last month, the SEC dropped its two year-old formal investigation of the company without any charges, though it’s hard to know if the comment letters were related to the formal investigation.

Among the more interesting tidbits in the K was the nearly $22 million the company collected from exercised options in fiscal 2005 compared with just $562K in fiscal 2004. With Vail’s stock trading near its 52-week high, it’s not hard to see why insiders are looking to take the money and run.

And what better place to invest it in then in exclusive real estate? At the end of the long list of related-party transactions is a disclosure about Chairman and CEO Adam Aron’s purchase of a $4.6 million condo at The Arabelle, a new 70-unit luxury resort currently under construction. Aron will be neighbors with one of Vail’s largest investors, Ronald Baron, which the filing notes put a deposit down on a $14 million unit. Despite the hefty prices and fears over a slowing economy, all of the units are already spoken for.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.