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Do resorts close too early?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Aa month ago it looked like that the season was coming to an end. Now we have a fresh dump of snow in France and Switzerland, but a lot of the resorts have now closed.

Of course, everything is mandated by the business from the big Tour Operators which makes it un-economic to pay wages, etc way into April. But if conditions are good then a lot of skiing has gone to " waste ".

Any views or possible solutions?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I was in Wengen last week, conditions were near enough perfect. However there were virtually no takers for skiing, so I can't really blame the lift company for closing down. The only people skiing were season-pass holders like me getting the last few turns of the season. The resort wasn't making a penny to be honest. Simple economics I guess.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
hibernia, Whistler mountain stays open until June I think.
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When there's little or no base, at this time of year the snow doesn't hang around for long. I would pick a bone or two with those resorts that shut down prematurely though, on the strength of projected poor occupancy figures. Holidaymakers have booked up in good faith and deserve to get the chance to ski. It's not their fault if the resorts have not marketed their end of season offers properly.
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Blackcomb mountain closed yesterday with some of the best skiing of the season, it was always booked in to be that way - shame the weather disagreed!!

PS. Today the skiing on Whistler was great - winter stopped yesterday after about a month, and spring started, great cruising followed by some sunny pint drinking, all good snowHead snowHead Cool
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I,ve been in Aspen a number of times at the beginning of the season. Perfect condtions have existed ut only Snowmass was opened. Ajax & Highland Bowl were closed. It just was not economical for them to open them until there were more skier/boarder numbers .

If you go to St Anton at this time of the year although Open, Rendl & Gampen normally close down !
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The head of the French lift operators association has called for a better spread out season... at the same time members of his own association like the CdA seem more and more focussed on a narrow 6 week period from the start of Feb to mid March. Apparently they make most of their profits during this period. I remember the factoid that Val Thorens made more in a February weekend than in a whole summer of summer skiing. It seems to be the logic of moving ski resorts out of the control of local communities and enthusiasts and into the hands of big business - the logic of profits and MBAs wins. The whole thing moves from being a sport to a "lifestyle experience" or whatever crap MBAs come out with.

There are constraints such as finding sufficient staff... many are heading off to the coast to prepare for a summer season but some years resorts like Arc 2000 could run a lift or two until the end of May like they do in the States but as others have said, there would be virtually no takers. To be honest, even with snow at 400m today the snow higher up is not that great and only really skiable in the morning until you get above 2000m.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
davidof, it's difficult to get guests for late and early season, so I can't see that spreading the season will achieve anything. Everyone wants to ski in February and March. Although the problem of keeping staff is the reason I've heard most frequently for closing early. In our domain you can ski through May, if you're prepared to hike, the Col de Petit St Bernard doesn't usually open until June, when there's still over 2 metres of snow on the road.
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Of no particular significance to this thread (!) but I flew back from Rome yesterday and with super visibility, I could see the Alps for much of the flight. Huge areas of mountain were completely covered (as far as I could tell from 38,000 ft) so I'm sure there's still plenty of skiable terrain out there if only we could get to it. Even the very Southern-most bit of the southern Alps down by Nice looked to have good cover and that's apparently been rubbish all season. I was surprised to see even Corsica and Sardinia had plenty of snow on the mountains.
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Red Leon, Yes, Isola2000 is still 'open' until next weekend and there was loads dumped over the last weekend, the only problem being the willingness of the 'pisteurs' to actually do something with snow which is a bit heavy to call powder.

Incidentally 'The No Snow Area' was a little further North. No idea why but there was a 10km wide 'swathe' which was rather snowless. The most Southern resorts were (relatively) OK.
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Quote:

the Col de Petit St Bernard doesn't usually open until June, when there's still over 2 metres of snow on the road.

What do you recommend - chains or

?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
A number of valid points have been made regarding late skiing.

However, once people have to start mowing the lawns, many of them are not in a 'winter sports' frame of mind.

If the snow was good there may be a demand but it would still be difficult to sell holidays in advance. So there would be no guaranteed income/cash flow for those whose livelihoods depend on it.

Even a niche resort like Tignes no longer operates 365 days a year.

A shame - but lift companies, hotels etc. have to at least cover costs.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Let's face it. Most people aren't as desperate to get to snow as we are.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Kramer - thats why we're snowHead snowHead snowHead
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Andorra has full cover - it closed last week.

Depends on a lot of things - no demand they close. I have the same issue with my local Indian takeaway. Closes at 12.00 every night. I always want Chicken Tikka Rogan Josh at 12.30. Little demand - little sense in opening except............

Do the TO's cause this by only having their season from Dec - early April ? The seasons are changing. Blizzard in Newcastle at midnight last Friday - ice on the car this morning !
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
At this time of year, most punters would be keen locals. I had a great powder day the weekend before last (proving that you don't have to ski in a snowstorm to get the best powder). Describing it to a Swiss colleague, he was amazed there was still any snow left rolling eyes

Round here, Andermatt and Hoch Ybrig (max 1900m!) will stay open until the end of the month. Engelberg-Titlis is open 'til mid May. Disentis is closed now but reopens for the Ascension and Pentecost holiday weekends in May.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
On Sunday, I was the only skier on the 0930 bus from Megève village up to Mt d'Arbois and Côte 2000. It had snowed heavily during the night and was still snowing, but not blizzard conditions. The bus driver greeted me with a mock expansive gesture and a cry of "Mon dieu, un skier sérieux! Bravo!". Anyone could tell there'd be great skiing available, if you didn't mind it snowing or demand corduroy pistes. I did meet up with fellow Brits who'd taken the 0900, but otherwise Côte 2000 was near deserted.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, we're open every year until the day of the French May 1st holiday (which isn't necessarily on May 1st). However it's a bit like summer ski-ing - we're here - snow's here (all our best ski-ing is between 2,200m & 3,600m) but where are the people? I believe this week we have 26% occupancy and next week is about the same. the French are still on holiday ............ However when it (reputedly) costs over £1,000 every time they start up the Jandri Express, you can't altogether blame the lift company.

So come on you snowheads - book late, high holidays and save the few resorts that do stay open.. snowHead too snowHead too
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Yes its ironic that skiing conditions above 2000m are far more relaible in April and May than December or even January.

The weather is normally better and the days much longer. Why do we bother skiing in December at all, other than the fact that there are school holidays then ?

Personally I prefer soft heavier snow and skiing to thin icy conditions. Its a fact that a lot less damage is caused to your skis at the end of the season than the beggining when there is no base and rocks are less easy to spot through the thin , dry snow. Good spring snow is also incredibly fast..... and soft to fall on.

I don't know what the solution is here except to market this time of year better or get your own ski tow !

Even here in England there are still some big patches of snow remaining Cross Fell and I'm toying with the idea of having a slide there this W/E Shocked

I'm still hopeful of one last fall probably in May now, and won't put my skis away for another couple of weeks yet.
Do I get a snowHead upgrade tag for such faith ?
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I was in les arcs 2000 last week and two of the bars Whistlers and the ?fox ran out of beer and said they were not getting any more as its nearly the end of the season. And there was me worrying that threre would be no snow so late in the season.
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Climb a bit higher and you find the beer-line
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stuarth, yeah, I was boarding Blackcomb on the 17th (last day before they closed it for $ reasons, they keep just Whistler open in the spring) and it was amazing! Best snow I've skied on all season, and virtually no line-ups! Skied knee-high powder off the lifts all day long. Definitely closed too early, but I guess it's just not worth it for them to keep both mountains open.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
AD, we drank all the bars in Arc 2000 out of Duvel (and a few other bottles) whilst we were there, not surprised they're running out of all beer now!
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I'm getting the feeling that I really should have booked something for the first week of the Easter holidays rather than Christmas... oh well, maybe 06/07? Probably won't want a third trip to Belle Plagne, perhaps Alpe d'Huez?
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TallTone, glad to see you're hooked !!!
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TallTone, that late come here. ADH is mainly south facing and the best ski-ing is below the town (1800m). Nothing against ADH itself - great in mid season powder, but for easter north-ish facing and most ski-ing above 2,100m is a better bet, especially if you've got kids. snowHead
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I still get the daily email from Les Gets. With their snow yesterday there is now 50cm at the bottom, more than was there when I skied at Easter, and only 17% of the slopes are open. They will close this weekend. Seems a shame but I expect the whole village will be closed now as all of the staff will have left.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Whistler is open until June 5th snowHead
Unfortunately I have to go home next tuesday Sad
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
chrisb, I left there last week ... now great snow but no hotels/bars open and all the lifties doing different jobs so very little access to anything ... Ho Hum , roll on December. DEFINITELY more snow than Easter .... a real 50 cm !!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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stuarth, enjoy what is left of the season, we were sorry to leave. Our eldest is already talking about spending the season there in his gap year.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
stuarth, been thinking about how I can get closer to the mountains, any IT jobs going out that way? Investment banks nearby? No? Sad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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easiski, thanks for the tip. Looking at the piste map I have, area seems a bit limited but maybe I've been spoilt by the variety at La Plagne? Is there enough for a week to not get bored? Sorry if the very question offends - I am very new to all this don't forget! Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
TallTone wrote:
stuarth, been thinking about how I can get closer to the mountains, any IT jobs going out that way? Investment banks nearby? No? Sad


You're joking surely? We've a country full of both.
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TallTone, some of those jobs you mention can be done out there. Whistler/Blackcomb provide jobs in all sorts of areas. I skiied with a girl working in IT and Marketing, also an accountant working in Finance. They get (basic) accomodation and I'm not sure the pay is wonderful, but they are allowed 'ski breaks' of 3 hours after good snowfall.
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Helen Beaumont, That might be fine if you're naive enough to be exploited in that way. I presume there's a large enough pool of mugs that are though. Spending 4 months living like a student is hardly appealing for a couple of hours skiing.
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ise, true, but most of them are graduates just out of Uni. Not really suitable for anyone with a family.
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ise, hadn't really thought about la Suisse. Though I could get back into French fairly quickly - and my son is showing signs of my babbling to him as a baby having been worthwhile - it would be very difficult for my wife to get over the language barrier. Canada appeals to me and my wife both. Given that my parents are also in love with the country I think it would be quite a popular move! I think I need to do more research as I am certainly not a fresh-faced graddie as Helen points out... Happy
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
TallTone, in fact. most, nearly all, business environments in Switzerland use English, it's not like most Swiss speak each others language. I'd skip Canada, their working hours and holiday practices are too American and salaries (in my opinion) aren't particularly high, no one's ever offered me enough to make it remotely worth going.
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Ah, but ise, it's not the business environment I'm worried about, it's the social/school one for my family.... I'm not particularly worried about high salaries as long as it's enough to be able to live comfortably and go skiing every year! snowHead
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TallTone, in that case you need to be in a large city like Geneva or Zurich. People in villages won't speak to you in any language until you've lived there for years. I admire your lack of materialism, personally I only work for money Very Happy
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