Feb 07, 2023 / RESORTS

Dual seasonality and a unique selling point are the key to ski resort resilience

Resilience in ski property is a curious thing. For investors it’s a major consideration - knowing a resort will continue to attract visitors and that resale potential will remain buoyant is essential. Likewise, if you’re looking for somewhere that will be a holiday home, you need to know that the resort will continue to deliver some of the things that made you fall in love with it in the first place. Whilst the mountains remain the same (and that’s why so many people love them) resorts can go through many changes. 

This article looks at the three major aspects of resort resilience, and where you can find them. To keep things simple we’ve focused on European ski resorts, but you can apply the principles of resort resilience worldwide. 

What makes a ski resort resilient?

Snowfall and season length

Snow is pretty key to any ski resort, and whilst snow-making helps extend many a season, it’s no substitute for the high altitude and regular snowfall that places a resort firmly at the top of the resort resilience table. If we look at Alpine resorts, familiar names like Zermatt enjoy the possibility of year round skiing, Tignes, Val d’Isere and Val Thorens enjoy a season that generally lasts from early October through to May. As an investor or traveller, this gives a good three months more skiing over the more usual December to April season enjoyed by the majority of alpine resorts. 

Resilience is about more than snowfall

You may or may not be familiar with the term resilience in the context of a ski resort, but it's a term that makes a lot of sense. When buying your property you need to know that you’ll gain one or all of the following: 

  • A reliable rental yield
  • A place to enjoy with friends and family
  • Potential for a reasonable return should you wish to sell

An apartment in Samoens means being part of a working community all year round

The resilience of a resort is a significant factor in each of these aspects and when it comes to deciding where to buy your mountain home the reality is that season length cannot be taken for granted. Sustainability is essential, but even the most diligent resort cannot be completely sure of enjoying the sustained conditions to allow skiing for the best part of the year. As an investor what are the other elements to resort resilience? 

Dual seasonality and a USP are the key to resort resilience

A dual season resort offers year round enjoyment for its visitors. This may be in the form of superb mountain biking, excellent hiking or simply a working village that is somewhere to relax and enjoy even when the slopes are green. Resorts that offer something for people to enjoy all year, and facilities from which to enjoy them are the ones to go for whether you’re looking for an investment or a holiday home with lasting appeal. 

Choosing something like this three bedroom apartment in La Plagne, gives you access to a world class bike park and whitewater rafting as well as the wonders of the Paradiski ski area. Alternatively you could look at Samoens with its pretty village centre and strong community feel. you can be confident that your investment will retain its appeal. Even purpose built resorts like Flaine can attract a swathe of year round visitors thanks to its bauhaus architecture, outdoor sculptures and proximity to activities like golf and hiking. Invest in somewhere you’d love to be even if you couldn’t ski and you have a fair chance of investing in a resort with resilience. 

Look for investment in infrastructure

When making your viewing trips look out for new investment in the resort. Are there any new ski lifts planned? Any initiatives around sustainability such as using electric vehicles or focusing on renewable energy? Does the resort offer things to appeal to non-skiers such as heritage, festivals or events that appeal to a wider audience? All these things work to raise the profile and character of a resort, and strengthen its appeal. 

Choose a tourist residence in a Flaine for a ski resort with a different type of resilience

When it comes to resilience does the type of property matter? 

Perhaps. Whilst the traditional ski chalet will always hold strong appeal, particularly for those seeking a family holiday home, other types of property offer a strong alternative when it comes to resilience. Tourist residences such as the ones offered by MGM Constructeur offer the best of both worlds; the privacy of your own apartment, alongside the luxury of onsite facilities such as bars, restaurants, concierge and spa. This type of property has the potential to attract visitors all year round to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and the luxury of a five star stay. The simple fact that this type of development offers a little more to its guests means they have the potential to attract a steady flow of visitors, which in turn contributes to the local economy, keeping the resort alive throughout the seasons and into the future. 

Discover your perfect property in a resilient resort

Whether the concept of resort resilience has given you a new aspect to your search for ski property, or you just really like the idea of an apartment with five star facilities, SnowOnly can help you discover your perfect property. Our property alert service allows you to hone your search to your exact requirements and be sure that you’re seeing your ideal property as soon as it comes to market.