APRIL 23, 2022

Sierra Nevada closes the winter season with 1.1 million visitors

The Sierra Nevada winter resort has today closed the 2021/22 winter season with more than 1,144,391 users, of which 906,702 were skiers/snowboarders (ski days sold) and 237,689 visitors who used the cable cars to get to the ski slopes or who enjoyed the attractions for non-skiers in Pradollano (Mirlo Blanco activity centre) or in Borreguiles.

With these figures, the winter season, which ends on Sunday 24 April, is among the best in the historical series and returns the Granadian winter resort to the levels of affluence and occupancy prior to the pandemic.

Hotel occupancy has been 74% in the hotel establishments of the Pradollano resort. All this has led to sales of more than 45 million euros, a historic figure for Cetursa Sierra Nevada.

   
Skier (Skiing  days)* 906.702
Visitors 104.809
Activities 132.880

TOTAL

1.144.391

The national skier has been predominant in the first season after the two seasons affected by COVID 19, with 95% of the total number of users. Andalusia and, to a lesser extent, Madrid and Valencia were, as is traditional, the communities of origin of Sierra Nevada skiers.

In a very tough weather season, with little snowfall in the first two parts of the campaign, the heavy investment of the last few seasons in the snowmaking system (now more efficient) and the precision of the ski runs made it possible to create a sufficiently attractive ski area to generate a high and balanced number of users in the first three months of the season. From the opening of the resort until 1 March, 16 light snowfalls were recorded (41 litres/m2 in total).

The situation changed in March with significant snowfalls that allowed the opening of all sectors of the ski area, with thicknesses of up to two metres at high altitudes. The incidence of Saharan dust was partially mitigated by a sequence of snow precipitation in April, which was very beneficial for the upper half of the ski area. This is shown by the data for this period: from 2 March to 24 April there were 32 days of snowfall, with 245 litres/m2 accumulated.

Meteorology

Thus, after low rainfall records during the first three months of the season, rainfall in March and April increased to 525.8 litres/m2, which produced average snow thicknesses of between 27 and 81 centimetres, and up to 2 metres of snow at high altitudes. 

During the 21/22 season, Sierra Nevada has remained open for 149 days (with 7 days of closure due to strong winds, one of them partial) from 27 November 2021 to 24 April 2022. In that period, the resort has offered an average of 50 skiable kilometres per day (maximum 82km), an average vertical drop of 932 metres (maximum 1,200m).

Significant change in purchasing habits

One of the most important aspects of the season has been the significant investment in digitalisation carried out in the different sales channels, which has enabled a new product offer to be configured with a more complete segmentation and the application of flexible rates. Thus, during the 2021/22 season, 70.8% of the ski days sold were sold through the resort's online channels, whereas until now this percentage was just the opposite, with on-site ticket offices being the preferred point for purchasing tickets.

The change in digital sales systems and the new purchasing habits, accentuated by the pandemic, explain to a large extent this change in trend.

In this sense, the new systems implemented by Skidata, both in the accesses to the ski lifts and the car parks, have contributed to placing Sierra Nevada at the technological forefront of the ski resorts.

The figures for digital information and purchase supports are along the same lines. Thus, the Sierra Nevada mobile application registered 29,000 new users (with 71,500 active users throughout the season), while 67,844 new users registered in the resort's shopping centre. The resort's social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube) had more than 355,000 followers.

Sport and music

Despite the fact that the sports calendar was constantly altered by the weather, the Sierra Nevada ski resort's commitment to competition was reflected in the 33 days of races in all disciplines with the participation of more than 3,000 athletes of all ages.

The Spanish Alpine Skiing Championships, the first Snow Running World Championships and the Ultra Sierra Nevada, with images of sport in the snow that are now part of the resort's recent history, was the most remarkable events.

Sierra Nevada, thanks to the efforts of the Andalusian Winter Sports Federation (FADI) and the Monachil ski club, has welcomed 45 athletes aged between 12 and 16 from Ukraine, in a solidarity action due to Russian invasion of the Ukrainian country.

The commitment culminated today with the organisation in Borreguiles of the FADI Trophy for Ukraine in cross-country skiing, in which the Ukrainian athletes hosted in Sierra Nevada took part.

On the other hand, this season the resort has brought back the Sun and Snow festival, which has flooded the mountain with music on its stages in Pradollano (Mirlo Blanco activity area) and Borreguiles (Chill Out terrace).

New ski lifts

After closing, the resort will immediately begin work on one of the most important projects in the history of the Sierra Nevada. This Monday will start of the preliminary work to replace the Emile Allais and Veleta II fixed grip chairlifts with two six-seater detachable lifts.

This remodelling will involve rearranging the Borreguiles ski area, reducing the waiting time on these initiation lifts and improving their connections with the Veleta and Laguna areas. 

The installation of the two new lifts is part of a larger tender that affects two other Sierra Nevada ski lifts, the Veleta chairlift and the Al Ándalus gondola lift, whose replacement will be addressed in future seasons depending on technical and economic circumstances.

The new Emile Allais will have the same route as the current one, will require 6 pylons (compared to the current 9), will have a transport capacity of 3,250 users/hour and a travel speed of up to 5 metres per second. This installation is designed and adapted especially for beginner skiers in the lower area of Borreguiles.

The future Veleta II chairlift will be the one that offers the most changes with respect to the current one. The main novelty will be its shortening; the lower station of the new lift will change its location with respect to the current one - at the same height as the Emile Allais - for another 455 metres higher. The new Veleta II will change from a 3-seater chairlift with a fixed clamp to a 6-seater detachable chairlift, from 19 bollards to 9, and will be able to reach a speed of 5 metres/second with a capacity of 2,500 people/hour.

 

 

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