Vail automates financial data for better year-round planning

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Ski slope and resort operator Vail Resorts has implemented a cloud-based business analytics solution to streamline financial data across its properties. The company chose a solution from Adaptive Planning to consolidate and benchmark the financial information.

The Vail Resorts family of companies, which employs more than 13,000 peak-season employees, includes five segments--hospitality, retail, transportation, real estate and development, and corporate. Because each of the divisions and locations had relied on separate accounting systems and manual data entry, the financial environment had been a challenge.

Wayne McLellan Jr., senior manager of lodging finance, RockResorts and Vail Resorts Hospitality, says, “We wanted the ability to do all of our formula-based planning, run reports and compare spas across 10 properties to determine profitability. In addition, the ability to standardize our planning model across the organization and make changes to variable expenses and have that automatically roll up was an important requirement.”

After comparing multiple options, the company chose Adaptive Planning because of its robust functionality, affordable cost and customizable options, according to McLellan.

Vail Resorts’ business model is driven by rooms occupied, food and beverage capture rate, golf rounds and spa treatments. The business is also highly seasonal with the winter high season attracting a more affluent customer demographic than the summer season. With the implementation of the Adaptive Planning solution, Vail Resorts can model out staffing and labor costs based on the projected occupancy using base-plus-variable labor cost formulas.

McLellan says, “The forecasting process used to take two to three hours per individual for more than 25 participants, and now takes just 20 to 30 minutes. Apply these time savings and we have seen a reduction in time spent of more than 56 hours. Strategic decision-making has improved as a result, and we now review a 90-day forecast each month and run reports to compare budgets/forecasts to actual and to prior forecasts. With Adaptive Planning we have a much better ability to manage the top line.”

(Image courtesy of ShutterStock.com)

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