A minefield of moguls for investors

Skiing has always been a perilous journey for public companies.


If you had put $1,000 into Vail Resorts stock in 2004, your investment would have grown to $14,000 by August 2018. Vail, a supernova of skiing investments, now faces its most daunting competition ever in the nascent, privately held Alterra Mountain Company.

In truth, Vail is the only public company in the history of North American skiing to have shown long-term health. Other than Vail, the stock market has been a bad marriage for skiing. S-K-I  Ltd. was a steady if unspectacular stock for many years, until purchased by Les Otten. Peak Resorts returns a modest dividend and has shown no price growth.

Sometime in the late 1970s, commenting on a ski-equipment anti-dumping action, Fortune Magazine noted that “Skiing is an odd little segment of industry better left to people who understand it and deeply care about it.” For many years those have been words to live by, especially for investors from outside the peculiar business...

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