Upgraded, ski resorts ready to open
Slovenian ski resorts are awaiting the new season with optimism, having invested a combined €84 million in modernisation of their infrastructure since last season. Most are planning to welcome first skiers next weekend.
Most of the ski resorts are happy with pre-season sale. Tickets are generally a few euros costlier than last year, with daily passes at around €40 for adults and just over €20 for kids.
The majority of the slopes are already covered with artificial snow, but the ski-lift operators hope to get a fair amount of natural snow soon as well.
Nine ski resorts are putting the finishing touches on a large investment drive, which they carried out over the past year with the help of €55 million in government incentives.
Kope first to open
Kope, the biggest ski resort in the northern region of Koroška, inaugurated two new chairlifts, a new T-bar lift and a renovated Grmovšek Lodge on 1 December in an investment valued at a combined €10 million.
The inauguration was due to coincide with the opening of the new season, but the plan was spoiled by rain, so the first skiers will hit the slopes on 2 December.
Mariborsko Pohorje, the resort above Maribor, has invested €7.5 million in a new stop of the Pohorje cableway and a new four-seater chairlift.
It has already sold around 1,500 season tickets, and is the only ski resort not to have increase the price of daily passes after making a significant hike last year.
A daily pass for adults costs €39 on weekdays and €43 at weekends, with passes for children available at €23 and €25, respectively.
Flying coaster at Rogla
Rogla, also in the north-east, has invested over €12 million in a new six-seater chairlift with heated seats and safety cabins. It also has a new flying coaster. The ski resort is happy with pre-season sale.
Golte is completing a project to replace two old ski lifts with two new four-seater chairlifts and an expanded range of other outdoor activities in an investment topping €11 million. It is due to open on 8 December.
Krvavec, some 30km north of Ljubljana, will also welcome first skiers on 8 December. They will be able to try out a new, faster and heated six-seater chairlift up Mount Zvoh, the resort's main improvement this season, which cost €11 million.
A major improvement at Vogel, the resort above Lake Bohinj, is a new cable car to replace an old two-seater chairlift taking the skiers up from Zadnji Vogel.
To turn into a year-round resort, Vogel has also opened an archaeological trail, a cycling trail, a disc golf course, and a new playground. The investments are valued at €9 million.
Kranjska Gora and Cerkno to open in mid-December
Kranjska Gora and Cerkno expect to open a bit later, in mid-December, with Cerkno completing the testing of ski lifts that have been upgraded, which extends their life span by at least 25 to 30 years.
Prospects are meanwhile much bleaker for Kanin, the country's highest ski resort, after it has lost the permit to operate its cable car.
The Bovec municipality has not yet given up on the season yet, hoping it could bring skiers to the slopes from Sella Nevea across the border in Italy, but the ski resort's operators are pessimistic about this option.
Apart from skiing, many ski resorts provide a wide range of accompanying activities, including after-ski parties with live music.