Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Heavy Snowfall in France Leads To Big Clean Up Bill For Resorts

Europe’s ski resorts may have breathed a sigh of relief as abundant snowfell early in the winter, and in many areas has continued ever since. As well as leading to a bumper season despite the general global economic gloom the big snowfalls have meant resorts have not had to spend so much money powering up their increasingly extensive and expensive snow making systems. However there can be down sides even for ski resorts to the big snow falls. Travel problems and a high avalanche risk off piste are two, but the French resort of Val d'Allos 1800 la Foux has reported another. Interviewed by snow reporting service Skiinfo, the boss of the Val d'Allos tourist office, Gilles Gravier, revealed that the resort had faced a big bill just to clear the snow from streets, lifts and buildings to that the resort could function properly. "The snow depth has now reached 360cm (12 feet), the most we have seen since winter 1975. Last Friday night alone, February 6th, more than a metre of snow fell. These very big snowfalls mean a lot of work for our teams clearing the snow and in January we spent 120,000 Euros just on clearing snow from our resort. This quantity of snow also means we have a high avalanche risk for off-piste skiers of level 4 against a maximum danger level of 5", Mr Gravier told Skiinfo.