APRIL 9, 2020

Sierra Nevada closed the season with nearly one million users despite early closure by coronavirus

The winter season 2019/20 of Sierra Nevada will be historically and intimately linked to the coronavirus pandemic that completely paralyzed on March 14, 2020 sports and tourism activity throughout Spain. Until that day, Sierra Nevada, with a very tough weather campaign, presented a projection in influx, occupancy and billing that should have placed the 19/20 among the best 5 winter campaigns in the history of the season.

This forecast is based on the month-by-month comparison that this season has been competitive with respect to the precedents: November-December (237,913 skiers, non-skiers and activities) ranks fifth in the historical ranking; January (243,157), the sixth; February (380,305), first.


So, between November 23, 2019 to March 13, 2020 - month and a half less than a normal season -, Sierra Nevada has added up to about one million users, with falls on skiers (-28.2 percent) compared to the previous season (the second best of all times) and users of ski lifts or gondola lifts (-12.2).

However, Snow Activities for Non-Skiers (White Blackbird and Borreguiles Activities) have surpassed 122,000 users (+30.3), a record figure that would be explained, to a large extent, by the absence of snow elsewhere on the mountain and by the diversification of the offer of snow and fun for all audiences - especially children - of the station.

Comparatively, and establishing March 13 as the hypothetical closing day in the all-season history, 2019/20 ranks - until that day - seventh in all time and third in the last decade. In the days following the early closure, significant snowfall has been recorded to suggest that the second half of March, Easter and the spring campaign would have worked reasonably well.

It is, in any case, the second shortest ski season in sierra Nevada history with 112 days of activity (6 total or partial closures), only surpassed by the 1994/95, that of the postponement of the Alpine Skiing World Championships, with 108 days of activity (5 closures).

The low rainfall until March 13 has highlighted the efficiency in snow production and track conditioning work, which have allowed to offer an average of 60 skiable kilometers throughout the campaign. In other multiviometrically similar seasons, such as the 1994/95, Sierra Nevada recorded an average of 7 open kilometers and in the 2004/05, 37 kilometers.

Particularly significant was the season's response to the three-day rainy episode - at all levels of the skiable domain - at the gates of the Christmas holidays, a period that usually represents a third of the turnover. The reaction of Cetursa Sierra Nevada, particularly from the Mountain department (tracks, machines, ski lifts...), gave the unanimous applause of companies and customers.

The hotel occupancy until 13 March was 72 per cent, four points more than the previous season, although that percentage would have experienced the usual decline of the final stretch of all campaigns with the gradual closure of accommodation places in the twilight weeks of the winter period.

Sierra Nevada, together with the Andalusian and Spanish federations, and the clubs of the station, have held 16 competitions with the participation of 1,308 athletes, mostly under the age of 16. The early close of the season forced the cancellation of a total of 11 competitions.

Separate mention deserves the celebration of the Snowboard Cross World Cup, which was played on March 6 and 7 with the participation of the 100 best riders of the discipline and the spectacular victory of Lucas Eguibar in men. France's Chloe Trespeuch prevailed in ladies.


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