Resorts count the cost of poor season

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Eikedalen in Hordaland closed before Easter for the first time in 30 years, while in other parts of Norway record snowfalls have extended the season. The Alpine Association (Alpinanleggenes Landsforening) said there was unusually large variation between snow depths at resorts this season, but ultimately bad weather has driven profits down.

The total turnover from resorts is expected to be about NOK 900 million (USD 151 million), reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). The amount is down 10 percent on last year’s record takings, but is still higher than the 2010/2011 season which was also hampered by a lack of snow. The association said the final figures would depend on the weather over the Easter weekend.

Eikedalen is one of several resorts in western and southern Norway that ended its season early. “For the first time since we opened in 1982, we have closed for Easter,” the ski centre announced. “The Easter snow rained away,” Hordaland’s other large resort at Kvamskogen wrote on its website. “Because of a lack of snow, Furedalen Alpin is closed for the season.”

Resorts further east at Hemsedal, Trysil, Hafjell and Kvitfjell all experienced excellent snowfall over winter, and remained open over Easter.

The forests around Oslo also received little snow this year, making it one of the worst winters for cross country skiers in 15 years. The season was 43 days shorter than last year, with 81 ski days in the northern Nordmarka forests and just six in Østmarka to the east. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that is only 60 percent of a normal cross country season.

“The trend is clear,” said Gustav Bjørbæk from the Meteorological Institute (Meteorologisk institutt). “There are fewer ski days. But long-term it’s quite obvious, skiers in the Oslo area must resign themselves to shorter seasons. People must rely on roller skis for a longer period of the year.”

newsinenglish.no staff