During the last ski season, the slopes were primarily green due to the lack of snow. As the next season approaches, there are concerns in the industry. Smaller ski resorts in Austria, known as feeder ski resorts, are particularly vulnerable. Some of these resorts only have a lift. While larger resorts located at higher altitudes and with more advanced equipment have a better chance of being profitable, the same cannot be said for smaller resorts operating independently.
Ski resorts in Austria fear for their existence: Below 1500 meters, there will be less snow
Climate change and the associated snow line significantly threaten smaller and lower-lying areas. As a result, the snow line is likely to continue to climb, which presents a challenge to snow sports. In 2021, the "Climate.Snow.Sport" international expert forum published a position paper on the prospects of snow sports in the face of global climate change. This group of transnational experts in winter sports and environmental research has predicted that small ski businesses in Austria will be the most affected. Bartl Gensbichler, the President of the Salzburg Ski Association, has emphasized the significance of small ski resorts, particularly for children just learning to ski.
Based on expert analysis, it is expected that the natural snow cover suitable for snow sports will decline in the long term. This effect will be felt more in the middle altitudes in the Alpine region and the low mountain ranges, with areas below 1500 meters being particularly affected. This means that snow will no longer be present every year in these areas in the future. Furthermore, the duration of the snow cover is also expected to be shortened.