Less snow and less cold but the Catalan resorts are not doing so badly

Less snow and less cold but the Catalan resorts are not doing so badly

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A few hours after the closure of all downhill slopes, this Easter Monday, the mountains in Cerdanya and Capcir regain a certain tranquility. From now on, only hikers on skis or on foot will have a say while the installations are dismantled, winterized and then checked after four months of intense activity. The operators of the six stations are relieved. They are closing a correct season in a difficult climatic context even hostile, with much less snow and cold days and nights to fix it.

More delicate for Trio Pyrénées

“A good part of the activity was carried out on degraded slopes, most often on artificial snow. But it was the only solution to meet the demand. And at Neiges Catalanes, we mainly have a clientele of downhill skiers, especially in January, while the attendance for the end-of-year celebrations is more diversified, festive and family-friendly,” explains Michel Poudade, the president of Neiges Catalanes, who announces a figure business of €27 million for this season, from December 4 to Easter Monday, compared to €30 million in 2023 (- 11%).

In this assessment, Font-Romeu, the station operated by Altiservice under public service delegation, represents the greatest potential with an initial turnover estimate of €15.5 million. “We are closing at 520,000 skier days. This is the second score in the history of the resort, not far from the absolute record of 2023”, indicates Claude Alvarez who highlights the technical skills of his teams to cultivate the snow, backed it is true by an artillery of more than 500 snow guns supplied by Lac des Bouillouses.

The results are less good at the Angles lifts (€8 million in turnover compared to €9 million in 2023): -15% but the resort’s attendance is roughly maintained (-3%) thanks to its diversification into entertainment and non-skiing activities that winter visitors are fond of.

The accounting situation is much more delicate for Trio Pyrénées, the grouping of three stations (Porte-Puymorens, Cambre d’Aze, Formiguères), operated by local authorities (Department, Region, communities of municipalities), which shows a drop in the cash registers at the foot of the tracks by 20% with the need for public shareholders to plug the holes in the financial track. But the lifts equipped to transport bikes and hikers will resume service at the beginning of July, which gives a Catalan mountain suitable for both seasons.

The Tops:

The Font-Romeu cable car.

Snowtubbing (tube descent) in Font-Romeu.

The Angléo baths in Les Angles.

The mixed gondola in Formiguères.

Monorail sledding in Les Angles.

The new ski lockers in Font-Romeu and Les Angles.

Mountain bike hikes on the snow.

Shows and entertainment at Les Angles.

The flops:

Nordic skiing in all resorts and at Nordic Capcir. No snow for weeks.

The balance sheet of Trio Pyrénées.

Snow cover on the upper part of Cambre d’Aze.

Snow cover on the lower part of Formiguères.

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