Vail Resorts was hurting for skiers this season. Execs blame Whistler Blackcomb. 

Vail Resorts is blaming Whistler Blackcomb for dwindling skier visits this season.  

In a presentation from April 16, CEO Kirsten Lynch gave the bad and the good: visits were down 7 percent across all North American properties while revenue was up about 3 percent thanks to pre-season Epic Pass sales. 

“While visitation declined, our lift revenue increased, driven by the growth in pass sales committed ahead of the season,” Lynch said in a release. 

Dining and ski school revenue also beat last year. Retail and rental revenues were down.  

So what happened at Whistler, and why is Vail’s largest ski hill taking the fall? 

Lynch says Tahoe ski areas rebounded nicely this spring after a dry holiday. Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood performed “as expected” in March and April. 

And then there was Whistler. 

“Lift ticket visitation did not return to normal historical guest behavior,” Lynch said. “Whistler Blackcomb… was down significantly relative to the prior year period.” 

To translate: Skiers and riders were not buying Whistler Blackcomb day tickets this spring.  

But the season hasn’t exactly been dismal at Whistler. The mountain reports 387 inches on April 22, just 21 inches shy of historic average. 

That’s better than Breckenridge with 318 inches, 37 inches short of historic average.