We’re just months away from the start of the new season in Europe, and, in the face of rising global competition, concerns over climate change – and immense opportunity in the form of a new wave of Chinese skiers – there are plenty of exciting infrastructure developments for the 2019/20 ski season coming. Here’s our round-up of some of the best.
Switzerland’s largest ski area
Andermatt’s $100-million-plus expansion project is more or less complete, having already linked Andermatt to neighbouring Disentis with the Cuolm da Vi lift in June 2019, and now the rest of the Sedrun area. Together, the region’s 180km of ski slopes make it the largest ski area in all of Switzerland. And property investors are taking notice – the Oberwalliser Newsportal reports that real estate sales hit a record high in the region last year, and seem set to continue to grow. New connections in the Jungfrau
A major project has begun in the Jungfrau region to cut journey times by 47 minutes between key transport hubs in Switzerland and Jungfraujoch. The project, named V-Bahn, began in last year’s off season, and has now seen the opening of the new Männlichen gondola. Grindelwald Terminal is due to be commissioned this upcoming season, with the first stage opening to visitors on 14th December. The full opening, including shopping facilities and amenities, will take place in the following 20/21 season.
Self-driving, eco-friendly shuttle in Val Thorens
Here’s another first for Val Thorens: the resort has introduced the ski world’s first self-driving, four-wheel-drive shuttle, providing a nine-stop, hop-on-hop-off service. 100% electric, the shuttle bus continues the resort’s recent focus on ‘going green’ and making the most of tech, which has also seen it awarded the title of ‘Smart Ski Resort’.
Faster, higher-capacity lifts and gondolas
Some of the key developments for the 2019/20 ski season across Europe are, as always, work on improving lift and gondola capacity and efficiency. In the Trois-Vallées, for instance, a €1.9-million investment in the St Martin de Belleville gondola has increased capacity by 30%. A state-of-the-art gondola is also replacing one of Sölden’s old chairlifts, cutting the journey to the main glacier to just six minutes. Courchevel’s Le Praz gondola has had its capacity more than doubled, and the journey time cut to six minutes.
Sustainability and green initiatives are the heart of many major resorts’ forward planning. Serre Chevalier, for instance, is working towards a goal of 30% of its energy coming from in-house, sustainable sources by 2021. Already, turbine systems help use the water pumped through snow cannons to generate electricity. Solar panels, already used to power the Vallons chairlift, continue to be installed, with a goal of having coverage for ten lifts.
Opportunities for property buyers and investors
These new developments for the 2019/20 ski season make a good starting point for buyers looking for ski resorts with good potential for price growth in the future. Investment, particularly the sort that pre-empts tomorrow challenges, such as climate change, is an absolute must for any resort that will survive and thrive in a more competitive era.
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