The Slovenia Times

Ski resorts looking back at another modest season


After opening on 1 December, Rogla closed its slopes on Friday, having welcomed almost 210,000 visitors, a 3.7% increase compared to last year.

Rogla, part of the Pohorje hills the north-east, was enjoyed by 1,687 skiers a day on average, which is the resort's largest number of visitors in the past ten years.

On the other hand, Kranjska Gora, the ski centre in the north-west that hosts the men's Alpine Ski World Cup each year, ended the season earlier than usual, recording some 210,300 visitors, almost 5,000 fewer than the previous season.

Mariborsko Pohorje, the home of the women's Alpine Ski World Cup meet, ended its season at the end of March, tallying fewer visitors as well, with the most significant drop being recorded after the February school holidays ended.

The largest ski centre in the north-east of the country reported a 40% year-on-year increase in the ski slopes grooming costs and expects to end the year in the red.

The main problem for all the resorts was the lack of snow this winter, which resulted in extra costs related to the making of artificial snow.

The highest-lying Slovenian skiing resort Kanin, located in the north-west, said that this season marked the first time they had to make artificial snow.

All the other resorts recorded fewer visitors as well, but pointed out that compared to mild winters in the past or the infamous 2014 winter, which was affected by a massive ice storm, this one was still relatively successful.

The main drop was recorded in the amount of daily visitors hitting the slopes.

The head of the Ski Lift Operators Association Manuela Božič Badalič said that without artificial snow, Slovenia's ski slopes would not have been able to operate this year. February was the worst month due to spring-like weather.

"If there's no snow in the valley and if it doesn't fall on Slovenians' heads, then they don't know it's winter. The ski slopes were open, but visitor numbers were modest," said Božič Badalič.

According to the association, the drop in visitors is ranging between 2.5% and 15% compared to the previous season.

Slovenians still represented the majority of the skiers, but the amount of foreign visitors is on the rise, with many skiers coming from Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, as well as Russia, Slovakia, the UK, or even Italy.

The operators urged the state to support the maintenance of slopes and their modernisation by co-funding them like this is the case in other EU countries. They also called on the Slovenian Tourist Board to step up the promotion of the skiing season in the future.

The high costs of snow-making were mitigated a little with the help of complementary tourist activities, such as hospitality services, but the resorts believe they would need systemic state-funding, amounting to more than the EUR 740,000 that the government allocated for the purpose for the 2019-2020 period.

Around 15% of Slovenians are reported to be ski enthusiasts but the share is decreasing, with many of them deciding to spend winter holidays in warmer places.


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