Ski resorts open this weekend in Catalonia, but at "half gas" because of snow conditions
Ski and snow lovers across Catalonia will be able to hit the slopes this weekend for the first time this season, but not all the doors to powder will be open, due to weather conditions. The unseasonably mild winter has meant that most ski resorts will be operating at "half gas" this weekend, with some important resorts such as Baqueria Beret choosing not to open at all. Others, such as Boí Taüll have said they will open on Saturday but only at 50%, and the first ski resort to open its doors has been Vallter 2000, which was operational as from this Friday with 4 lifts and 4 runs. Other resorts expect to open some of their runs, but the final decision will depend on weather conditions in the near future. During the 2014-2015 season, Catalan ski resorts invested a total of €17 million. Baqueria Beret invested the most, over €11 million, due to its size and to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
Barcelona (ACN).- It is officially skiing season in Catalonia as the first slopes open this weekend, but due to insufficient snow the resorts will be operating at "half gas". While the recent low temperatures at night have produced some snow, the unseasonably mild winter has meant that some resorts, including one of the most important, Baqueria Beret, will be choosing not to open at all. The Baqueria Beret in the Val d'Aran county, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, finally decided not to open it to ensure sufficient conditions for its customers. Other resorts, such as Boí Taüll have said they will open on Saturday but only at 50%, and the first ski resort to open its doors has been Vallter 2000, which was operational as from Friday with 4 lifts and 4 tracks. Vallter benefited from the easterly wind bringing better conditions. The resorts of Pallars, Port Ainé and Espot, will open their highest station where there has been some overnight snowfall. This season of 2014-2015, Catalan ski resorts invested a total of €17 million. Baqueria Beret invested the most, over €11 million, due to its size and to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The investment in winter sports this season will create 11,000 jobs (2,500 direct and 8,500 induced) and generate €350 million for the local economy.
Investment in winter sports to generate jobs
The ski resort of Boí Taüll in the Province of Lleida in north-western Catalonia, will open on Saturday after having overcome its liquidity problems thanks to a €750,000 loan from the Catalan Government, and paid the outstanding salaries to workers who had called an indefinite strike.
La Molina and Masella
The resorts of La Molina and Masella, popular for day excursions from Barcelona being in the nearby Province of Girona, in northern Catalonia, have not yet confirmed their opening. Their final decision will depend on temperatures and the snowfall in the near future. The Commercial Director of Masella, Maite Martí said that "if the present conditions are to be believed, then we can open the doors to the powder, but we are still working on it and cannot yet confirm the opening date." As for the resort of La Molina, they may open some slopes on Saturday but the rest depends on how much artificial snow they produce. The head of Communications for the resort, Marta Viver, said that the "our priority is to open our Long slope, and as we are currently working on it we will not know until Saturday."
Vallter 2000 the first resort to open its slopes
On Friday, Vallter 2000 in Lleida has been the first resort to open with 4 runs and 4 lifts in operation, having had better conditions thanks to the easterly wind over the last weekend, which resulted in up to 90cm of snow in higher spots. This Saturday, they will also open their snow park. This has been confirmed by the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), which manages this resort and organises transport, tourism and mountain activities.