Sella Ronda Rolls The Dice: Mountain Commits to Opening Dates Three Years in Advance
SAM Magazine, Sella Ronda, Italy, March 12, 2007 - It's a bet that most ski areas would shy away from: guarantee your opening and closing dates for the next three years. Even with snowmaking, most Eastern resorts in North America missed scheduled opening dates this year, and while Rocky Mountain resorts like Vail have announced that they are extending their season, given the vagries of climate change and the fact that the weather is nothing if not unpredictable, most resorts add an asterix next to their scheduled opening date. An asterix that reads, "opening date dependent upon weather and snow conditions."
That's not the case in italy, where Sella Roda has committed to specific opening and closing dates for the next three seasons.
The resort, which features over 500 kilometers of runs and is part of the Dolomiti Superski complex has the following opening and closing dates locked down: 1st December 1, 2007 - April 6 2008; November 9, 2008 - April 14, 2009 and November 28, 2009 - April 11, 2010.
The resort claims that the move is good for its customers, even is the snow may not be.
"Holidays on the snow are a fixed appointment for thousands of skiers and not only for Christmas holidays," says the resort. "To meet this requirement we fixed the opening and closing dates for the winter season for the next years, up to 2010."
As you'd expect, Sella's commitment is heavily based upon snowmaking, and the resort has invested heavily in snowmaking technology to ensure that the lifts will run on time, regardless of if Mother Nature cooperates. No doubt that the Italians are hoping that they don't have a winter like America's East Coast experienced this year. As many resort operators in that region can attest, even the best snowmaking systems in the world are no guarantee that the lifts will run as scheduled. \