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US News Covid: how ski resorts are diversifying to attract holidaymakers

13:08  13 february  2021
13:08  13 february  2021 Source:   europe1.fr

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Deprived of ski lifts, but no ideas. While the holidays begin for zone C, and which many French people gave up at the last minute to the sirens of snow , ski resorts are reinventing themselves and competing in ingenuity to attract holidaymakers. This is particularly the case in Peyragudes, in the Pyrenees, where Europe 1 went.

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Sledges, scooters, airbords, snooc ..

As in all the other resorts, the skis are stored and have been replaced by the toboggan. The area dedicated to this slide has also been greatly extended this year to allow holidaymakers to find some sensations. But this is not the only stopgap for skiing, far from it. Here, snow scooters or even airbords, inflatable sleds, hurtle down the slopes. "It's like a snow hydrospeed" explains to the microphone of Europe 1 Thierry, the man who brings vacationers up to the top of the summits in groups of five on his groomer.

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A little further, we still find a strange machine: the snooc. A sort of seated monoski that allows Emilie and her two children to "manage their frustration at not being able to ski". "We take advantage of what we have, the activities we can do and that feels good," explains the mother.

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For Caroline, who is about to reach the peaks on snowshoes, all these new ways of hitting the slopes are an opportunity for the resorts to attract a new audience. "It will allow people who did not necessarily come because the mountain was dedicated to skiing to finally find other activities." And to advance, optimistically, that it can "multiply the activities of the mountain".

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If this remains to be proven in the coming years, for this winter in any case, few French people have canceled their stay in Peyragudes. The resort's accommodation was 60% occupied last week, while Toulouse, in zone C, was not yet on vacation.

The other side of the coin is that this crowd which congregates at the foot of the slopes is not always easy to manage for Laurent Garcia, the resort manager. "We would prefer this world to be spread over all tracks," he confirms. And if he “deplores” this concentration of people at the foot of the slopes, his teams “try to organize it and ensure that barrier gestures are respected throughout the day”. But despite the multiplication of activities and this influx, Peyragudes' financial results remain bad. This first week, the station achieved only 5% of its usual turnover.

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This is interesting!