Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation and Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements of Viad Corp (“Viad” or the “Company”) are prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and include the accounts of Viad and all of its subsidiaries. All intercompany account balances and transactions between Viad and its subsidiaries have been eliminated in consolidation.
Nature of Business
Viad’s reportable segments consist of Marketing & Events U.S., Marketing & Events International and Travel & Recreation Group.
Marketing & Events Group
The Marketing & Events Group, comprised of Global Experience Specialists, Inc. and affiliates (“GES”), is a global event marketing company that helps clients gain more awareness, more involvement and more value from their trade show programs and other live events. The Marketing & Events Group specializes in all aspects of the design, planning and production of face-to-face events, immersive environments and brand-based experiences for clients, including show organizers, corporate brand marketers and retail shopping centers. The mission of the Marketing & Events Group is to create the world’s most meaningful and memorable experiences for show organizers, brand marketers, event attendees and retail shopping centers. Show organizers include for-profit and not-for-profit show owners as well as show management companies. Corporate brand marketers include exhibitors and domestic and international corporations that want to promote their brands, services and innovations, feature new products and build business relationships. Viad’s retail shopping center customers include major developers, owners and management companies of shopping malls and leisure centers.
On September 16, 2014, the Company acquired Blitz Communications Group Limited and affiliates (collectively, “Blitz”), which has offices in the United Kingdom and is a leading audio-visual staging and creative services provider for the live events industry in the United Kingdom and continental Europe. The purchase price was £15 million (approximately $24.4 million) in cash, subject to certain adjustments.
On October 7, 2014, the Company acquired onPeak LLC and Travel Planners, Inc. (collectively, “onPeak”) for a purchase price of $43.0 million and $33.7 million, respectively, in cash, subject to certain adjustments. Both acquired companies provide event accommodations services in North America to the live events industry.
On November 24, 2014, the Company acquired N200 Limited and affiliates (collectively, “N200”) for €9.7 million (approximately $12.1 million) in cash, subject to certain adjustments, plus an earnout payment (the “Earnout”) of up to €1.0 million. The amount of the Earnout is based on N200’s achievement of established financial targets for fiscal 2015 (ending June 30). N200, which has offices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, is a leading event registration and data intelligence services provider for the live events industry in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
For additional information, refer to Note 3, Acquisition of Businesses.
Travel & Recreation Group
The Travel & Recreation Group is an experiential leisure travel provider serving the needs of regional and long-haul visitors to iconic natural and cultural destinations in North America. The Travel & Recreation Group consists of Brewster Inc. (“Brewster”), Glacier Park, Inc. (“Glacier Park”) and Alaskan Park Properties, Inc. (“Alaska Denali Travel”). Brewster provides tourism products and experiential services in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and in other parts of Western Canada. Brewster’s operations include the Banff Gondola, Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure, Glacier Skywalk (opened May 2014), Banff Lake Cruise, motorcoach services, charter and sightseeing services, inbound package tour operations and hotel operations.
Glacier Park, an 80 percent owned subsidiary of Viad, owns and operates seven lodges, with accommodation offerings varying from hikers’ cabins to hotel suites, including St. Mary Lodge, a 115-room, full-service resort lodge located outside the east entrance to Glacier National Park in St. Mary, Montana; Glacier Park Lodge, a historic lodge in East Glacier, Montana; Grouse Mountain Lodge, a full-season lodge offering golf, skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer and other seasonal recreational activities, located near Glacier National Park in Whitefish, Montana; the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada, which is situated on land for which the Company has a 42-year ground lease with the Canadian government running through January 31, 2052; the West Glacier Motel & Cabins in West Glacier, Montana, and Motel Lake McDonald and the Apgar Village Lodge, which are located inside Glacier National Park. Glacier Park also operates the food and beverage services with respect to those properties and the retail shops located near Glacier National Park. With regard to Glacier Park’s concession operations within Glacier National Park, refer to Note 24, Discontinued Operations.
On July 1, 2014, the Company acquired the West Glacier Motel & Cabins, the Apgar Village Lodge and related land, food and beverage services and retail operations (collectively, the “West Glacier Properties”). The West Glacier Motel & Cabins is a 32-room property situated on approximately 200 acres at the west entrance of Glacier National Park, and its full-service amenities include a restaurant, grocery store, gift shops, a gas station and employee accommodations. The Apgar Village Lodge is a 48-room property situated on a 3.8 acre private in-holding inside Glacier National Park with overnight accommodations, a gift shop and employee accommodations. The purchase price was $16.5 million in cash with a working capital adjustment of $0.3 million, subject to certain adjustments. For additional information, refer to Note 3, Acquisition of Businesses.
Alaska Denali Travel operates the Denali Backcountry Lodge and Denali Cabins. In addition to lodging, Alaska Denali Travel also provides food and beverage operations and package tour and transportation services in and around Denali National Park and Preserve.
Significant Accounting Policies
Use of Estimates. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. These estimates and assumptions include, but are not limited to:
Fair value of Viad’s reporting units used to perform annual impairment testing of recorded goodwill;
Allowances for uncollectible accounts receivable;
Provisions for income taxes, including uncertain tax positions;
Valuation allowances related to deferred tax assets;
Liabilities for losses related to self-insured liability claims;
Liabilities for losses related to environmental remediation obligations;
Sublease income associated with restructuring liabilities;
Assumptions used to measure pension and postretirement benefit costs and obligations;
Assumptions used to determine share-based compensation costs under the fair value method and
Allocation of purchase price of acquired businesses.
Actual results could differ from these and other estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents. Viad considers all highly-liquid investments with remaining maturities when purchased of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Viad’s cash and cash equivalents consist of cash and bank demand deposits, bank time deposits and money market mutual funds. The Company’s investments in money market mutual funds are classified as available-for-sale and carried at fair value.
Inventories. Inventories, which consist primarily of exhibit design and construction materials and supplies used in providing convention show services, are stated at the lower of cost (first-in, first-out and specific identification methods) or market.
Property and Equipment. Property and equipment are stated at cost, net of accumulated depreciation. Property and equipment are depreciated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets: buildings, 15 to 40 years; equipment, 3 to 12 years; and leasehold improvements, over the shorter of the lease term or useful life. Property and equipment are tested for potential impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the long-lived asset may not be recoverable through undiscounted cash flows.
Capitalized Software. Viad capitalizes certain internal and external costs incurred in developing or obtaining internal use software. Capitalized costs principally relate to costs incurred to purchase software from third parties, external direct costs of materials and services, and certain payroll-related costs for employees directly associated with software projects once application development begins. Costs associated with preliminary project activities, training and other post-implementation activities are expensed as incurred. Capitalized software costs are amortized using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the software, ranging from three to ten years. These costs are included in the consolidated balance sheets under the caption “Property and equipment, net.”
Goodwill. Goodwill is tested for impairment at the reporting unit level on an annual basis as of October 31 of each year. Goodwill is also tested for impairment between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more-likely-than-not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. Viad uses a discounted expected future cash flow methodology (income approach) in order to estimate the fair value of its reporting units for purposes of goodwill impairment testing. The estimates and assumptions regarding expected future cash flows, discount rates and terminal values require considerable judgment and are based on market conditions, financial forecasts, industry trends and historical experience. These estimates, however, have inherent uncertainties and different assumptions could lead to materially different results.
Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance. Viad has Company-owned life insurance contracts which are intended to fund the cost of certain employee compensation and benefit programs. These contracts are carried at cash surrender value, net of outstanding policy loans. The cash surrender value represents the amount of cash the Company could receive if the policies were discontinued before maturity. The changes in the cash surrender value of the policies, net of insurance premiums, are included as a component of “Costs of Services” in the consolidated statements of operations.
Self-Insurance Liabilities. Viad is self-insured up to certain limits for workers’ compensation, automobile, product and general liability, property loss and medical claims. Viad has also retained certain liabilities related to workers’ compensation and general liability insurance claims in conjunction with previously sold operations. Provisions for losses for claims incurred, including estimated claims incurred but not yet reported, are made based on Viad’s prior historical experience, claims frequency and other factors. Viad has purchased insurance for amounts in excess of the self-insured levels.
Environmental Remediation Liabilities. Viad has retained certain liabilities representing the estimated cost of environmental remediation obligations primarily associated with previously sold operations. The amounts accrued primarily consist of the estimated direct incremental costs, on an undiscounted basis, for contractor and other services related to remedial actions and post-remediation site monitoring. Environmental remediation liabilities are recorded when the specific obligation is considered probable and the costs are reasonably estimable. Subsequent recoveries from third parties, if any, are recorded through discontinued operations when realized.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments. The carrying values of cash and cash equivalents, receivables and accounts payable approximate fair value due to the short-term maturities of these instruments. The estimated fair value of debt obligations is disclosed in Note 11, Debt.
Foreign Currency Translation. Viad conducts its foreign operations primarily in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and to a lesser extent in certain other countries. The functional currency of Viad’s foreign subsidiaries is their local currency. Accordingly, for purposes of consolidation, Viad translates the assets and liabilities of its foreign subsidiaries into U.S. dollars at the foreign exchange rates in effect at the balance sheet date. The unrealized gains or losses resulting from the translation of these foreign denominated assets and liabilities are included as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income in Viad’s consolidated balance sheets. In addition, for purposes of consolidation, the revenues, expenses and gains and losses related to Viad’s foreign operations are translated into U.S. dollars at the average foreign exchange rates for the period.
Revenue Recognition. Viad recognizes revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred or services have been rendered, the sales price is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured. GES derives revenues primarily by providing show services to exhibitors participating in exhibitions and events and from the design, construction and refurbishment of exhibit booths and holiday themed environments. Service revenue is recognized at the time services are completed. Service revenue from event accommodations services is recorded when services are completed and is net of commissions. Exhibits and environments revenue is accounted for using the completed-contract method. The Travel & Recreation Group generates revenues through its attractions, hotels and transportation and sightseeing services. Revenues are recognized at the time services are performed.
Share-Based Compensation. Viad recognizes and measures compensation costs related to all share-based payment awards using the fair value method of accounting. These awards generally include restricted stock, performance-based restricted stock (“PBRS”), stock options and liability-based awards (including performance units, restricted stock units and performance-based restricted stock units). These awards contain forfeiture and non-compete provisions.
The fair value of restricted stock and PBRS awards are based on Viad’s stock price on the date of grant. Viad issues restricted stock and PBRS awards from shares held in treasury. Future vesting of restricted stock and PBRS is generally subject to continued employment with Viad or its subsidiaries. Holders of restricted stock and PBRS have the right to receive dividends and vote the shares, but may not sell, assign, transfer, pledge or otherwise encumber the stock, except to the extent restrictions have lapsed.
Restricted stock awards vest between three and five years from the date of grant. Share-based compensation expense related to restricted stock is recognized using the straight-line method over the requisite service period of approximately three years except for certain awards with a five-year vesting period whereby expense is recognized based on an accelerated multiple-award approach over a five-year period. For these awards, 40 percent of the shares vest on the third anniversary of the grant and the remaining shares vest in 30 percent increments over the subsequent two anniversary dates.
Liability-based awards (including performance units, restricted stock units and PBRS units awarded to key employees at certain of the Company’s Canadian operations) are recorded at estimated fair value, based on the number of units expected to vest and the level of achievement of predefined performance goals (where applicable) and are remeasured on each balance sheet date based on Viad’s stock price or the Monte Carlo simulation method until the time of settlement. The fair value of performance-based awards based on a market condition is determined using a Monte Carlo simulation. A Monte Carlo simulation requires the use of a number of assumptions, including historical volatility and correlation of the price of Viad’s stock and the price of the common shares of a comparator group, a risk-free rate of return and an expected term. To the extent earned, liability-based awards are settled in cash based on Viad’s stock price. Compensation expense related to liability-based awards is recognized ratably over the requisite service period of approximately three years.
Share-based compensation expense related to PBRS awards is recognized based on an accelerated multiple-award approach over the requisite service period of approximately three years. PBRS vests when certain incentive performance targets established in the year of grant are achieved at target levels. PBRS is subject to a graded vesting schedule whereby one third of the earned shares vest after the first year and the remaining earned shares vest in one-third increments each year over the next two years on the first business day in January.
The fair value of each stock option grant is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. Share-based compensation expense related to stock option awards is recognized using the straight-line method over the requisite service period of approximately five years. The exercise price of stock options is based on the market value of Viad’s common stock at the date of grant.
Common Stock in Treasury. Common stock purchased for treasury is recorded at historical cost. Subsequent share reissuances are primarily related to share-based compensation programs and recorded at weighted-average cost.
Income Per Common Share. Viad applies the two-class method in calculating income per common share as unvested share-based payment awards that contain nonforfeitable rights to dividends are considered participating securities. Accordingly, such securities are included in the earnings allocation in calculating income per share. Historically, Viad has funded its matching contributions to employees’ 401(k) accounts through the Company’s leveraged Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) feature of the Company’s 401(k) defined contribution plan. ESOP shares are treated as outstanding for income per share calculations. During 2014, the Company depleted these shares and matching contributions are now funded from shares of Viad common stock held in treasury.
Impact of Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In April 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-08, Presentation of Financial Statements (Topic 205) and Property, Plant, and Equipment (Topic 360): Reporting Discontinued Operations and Disclosures of Disposals of Components of an Entity. The new guidance changes the criteria for reporting discontinued operations while enhancing disclosures. Under the standard, only disposals representing a strategic shift in operations, such as a disposal of a major geographic area, a major line of business or a major equity method investment, may be presented as discontinued operations. This guidance is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2014 and is not expected to have a material impact on Viad’s financial condition or results of operations.
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606). The standard establishes a new recognition model that requires revenue to be recognized in a manner to depict the transfer of goods or services to a customer at an amount that reflects the consideration expected to be received in exchange for those goods or services. The guidance is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, and early adoption is not permitted. The Company has not yet determined if the adoption of this new guidance will have a material impact on its financial position or results of operations.
In June 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-12, Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Accounting for Share-Based Payments When the Terms of an Award Provide that a Performance Target Could be Achieved after the Requisite Service Period. The new guidance requires that a performance target that affects vesting, and that could be achieved after the requisite service period, be treated as a performance condition. As such, the performance target should not be reflected in estimating the grant date fair value of the award. This update is effective for our fiscal year beginning January 1, 2016 and early adoption is permitted. The adoption of this new guidance is not expected to have a material impact on Viad’s financial condition or results of operations.