Late snow ‘no concern’ for Swedish resorts

Late snow 'no concern' for Swedish resorts
Sweden's first real snowfall for the season is expected over the weekend, powdering the country's northern-most regions white by Monday morning, according to meteorological institute SMHI's forecast.

Until now, the entire country has been free of snow. Even so, the balmy weather doesn’t have the winter tourism industry all that worried.

“The early season is affected for a number of resorts. Ten or so resorts count on opening before December 15. For them, this is probably an economic setback,” said Hans Gerremo of the Swedish ski lift operators association (Svenska liftanläggningars organisation – SLAO), to news agency TT.

Östersund, in northern Sweden, has several of Sweden’s major ski resorts right around the corner, including Åre. The city’s tourist manager Camilla Olsson wrote on her blog that everyone is “desperately longing for snow”.

However, she does note that Östersund has stocked up on last year’s snow, that can be used this year to ensure a decent skiing experience despite the lack of wintry weather. Therefore Sweden’s winter sports centre can still live up to its nickname, “The Winter City”.

Skistar has a number of downhill skiing resorts, in both Sweden and Norway. The company’s snow guarantee has already kicked in, a guarantee which in some circumstances promises customers who’ve paid for their ski trip their money back.

But according to marketing and sales manager Mathias Lindström, the guarantee money has a “marginal impact” on the company’s economy.

“The economically important season for us doesn’t start until Christmas, and then continues until the end of April,” he said to TT.

On Saturday, Skistar opened their slopes in resorts Trysil and Sälen – with artificial snow.

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