Denise Chen - Feb 23, 2009
Ski industry is not as safe as it seemed before. Even the equipment manufacturers now feel the effects of the economic crisis.

On the 2nd January this year, in Villars, a well-known ski resort popular among British people, a record 11.500 skiers took to the slopes. It seemed that the ski industry was safe from the two major dangers it has been facing for the past few years.

The first is the global economic crisis, with people all around the planet saving money on luxury items such as holidays and ski equipment. The second, perhaps more serious problem, is global warming, with ski resorts disappearing all over the globe due to melting snow. Some countries moved their resorts thousands of metres up into the mountains to find snow, only to discover that the resorts then become unsuitable for children.

The outlook for the world’s 1.700 ski resorts has been looking bleaker since that famous second day of this year. In the world known Chamonix Valley, situated near Mont Blanc, machines are now idle and the resort has turned into an empty and soulless place. It has had to lay off 187 staff and the remaining people including ski instructors have even turned to pouring beer in local pubs and restaurants to make extra money. Some companies, in Europe’s major skiing countries, have turned to offering two holidays for the price of one. The indicators suggest that improvements are not going to come about too easily and that March is going to be similarly bleak.

The ski equipment manufacturers are also struggling in light of the global crisis, as skiers now tend to use their own second hand equipment rather than invest in a more modern alternative. It seems that the ski industry is perhaps not the safe haven it originally appeared to be.


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