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25/04/2022 - 13:00

Grandvalira Resorts rebounds to its pre-pandemic figures and closes the winter season ahead of all forecasts

 

Grandvalira has reached 1,722,991 days of skiing, just 1.6% less than the 2018-19 season, with a better average customer profile

Ordino Arcalís had more than 148,000 days of skiing, a figure affected by resort closures due to bad weather at key moments of the ski season

The new sales strategy generated a 137% increase in sales of ski passes on the company’s digital channels

 

The mountains of Grandvalira Resorts have ended a very positive 2021-2022 season that far exceeded all expectations with turnover rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. In the 137 days Grandvalira was open, there were 1,722,991 days of skiing, a slight 1.6% decline from the 2018-2019 season, which was the last one to not be affected by COVID. However, on average a better customer profile has visited our resorts, which has resulted in higher average spending by visitors. Meanwhile, the most popular ski day at Grandvalira was 26 February, coinciding with the beginning of the Carnival week celebrations, with a total of 25,140 skiers.

Ordino Arcalís had a total of 148,000 days of skiing, which also falls below the figure for the 2018-19 season. In this case, the resort's occupancy levels were clearly affected by the days it was fully or partially closed during the season due to snow and wind storms, many of them on weekends. In total, the Ordino resort was open 139 days and the most popular was 26 February with 2,873 skiers.

The General Manager of Grandvalira Resorts, Juan Ramón Moreno, said the season was “very good”, especially taking into account that it came on the heels of a year “that had seen a 90% drop in turnover” and that “we started this season with great uncertainty due to the pandemic”.

 

GROWTH IN LOCAL MARKETS

This season it was still not possible to recover 100% of international customers as a result of pandemic restrictions early in the season, and the war in Ukraine later on. The markets that best performed over the course of the season were primarily local ones, which grew again this year, particularly France (+8%) and Madrid and central Spain (+6%), where Grandvalira Resorts has made major promotional efforts. Plus, Madrid customers were able to benefit from the new air route to Andorra-La Seu Airport.

Meanwhile, there was also a good influx of Brits, especially in the second half of the season. “The British market is very important for us. At first, there were very severe restrictions, but as they were lifted, we started to see numbers similar to a normal year,” explained Moreno, adding that “the Scandinavian markets also performed well”.

 

DYNAMIC PRICING AND ONLINE CHANNELS

The increase in turnover was also largely impacted by the dynamic pricing strategy implemented by Grandvalira Resorts this season, which promoted the company’s online channels and offered discounts on early bookings. As a result, sales on the websites and applications grew by 137% for Grandvalira and 123% for Ordino Arcalís, compared to the 2018-19 season. Similar growth occurred in purchases of the Ski Pass Plus+ and the Season Pass, which saw increases of 110% and 11%, respectively.

The Grandvalira corporate website had 1,683,913 users between 1 September and 18 April, with a total of 2,232,553 sessions, while there were 178,657 users of the Ordino Arcalís website with 249,741 sessions. Meanwhile, the Grandvalira application had 57,152 new downloads and more than 1,054,395 sessions, and the Ordino Arcalís app had 5,076 downloads and 57,340 sessions.

The social media channels of Grandvalira and Ordino Arcalís also grew this year. The former had 348,031 total followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, 10.8% more than a year ago, making it the eighth ski resort in the world in terms of number of followers, one position up from its ninth place in 2021. Ordino Arcalís has a total of 72,762 followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, 20% more than last year.

 

SNOW GUARANTEE

The work of ground crews was fundamental once again this year to uphold the snow guarantee and 100% of skiable kilometres during most of the season. Thus, Grandvalira was able to open on all 137 scheduled days, on which 4.79 metres of snow fell, a considerable increase over the previous year which had 3.55 metres of snowfall. Ordino Arcalís saw 4.52 metres of accumulated snowfall during the 139 days it was open. Also essential for guaranteeing good snow quality once again this year at both Grandvalira and Ordino Arcalís were the 28,684 and 3,540 hours of snow grooming, and the 1,621,246 m3 and 272,000 m3 of water used for making artificial snow, respectively.

 

B-PLUS FOR GRANDVALIRA AND ORDINO ARCALÍS

This season, Grandvalira invested 6.7 million euros, mainly in the new L'Abarset project, as well as in creating new structures, technological innovation, improving services for skiing and snowboarding, and new restaurant options. These investments were aimed at “offering a season worthy of visitors’ eagerness to get back on the slopes” after nearly two years of the pandemic, as stated by Juan Ramón Moreno at the beginning of the season.

 

Visitors had a very positive reception to these investments and rated the resort 8.45 out of 10 according to a survey conducted by an external consultant, in which the friendliness and professionalism of the staff received the highest rating of 8.81. The ratings for wait times at ticket offices and lifts have improved to 8.65 and 8.1, respectively.

 

In terms of the resort services, the most utilized were the restaurants, with 95% of visitors using them, while the ski school was only used by 1 in 4 skiers. These services were rated 8.17 and 8.14, respectively. Finally, 91% of people surveyed said they intended to return to Grandvalira and 97.6% would recommend the resort to friends.

 

As for Ordino Arcalís, this season it invested 1 million euros in various improvements to the terrain, dining options, the digitalisation of systems and processes, and in the new Solar de Tristaina lookout point. These efforts made at the resort were also well received by customers, who, according to the same external consultant, rated it 8.61 out of 10 in terms of overall satisfaction. The school and restaurant services received overall scores of 8.49 and 7.44, respectively, while 93% of those surveyed said they would return to Ordino Arcalís next season and 96% would recommend the resort to friends.

 

THE NEW L’ABARSET IS THE BEST IN APRÈS-SKI

One of the latest developments this season at Grandvalira is the new L'Abarset, which opened its doors on 28 December with the goal of becoming the best après-ski in Europe and a must for everyone who visits the domain or who loves electronic music. From that day until the end of the season, more than 50,000 people have enjoyed the L'Abarset experience, either for après-ski or at the restaurant with its exquisite cuisine. The highpoint of the season came on 16 April with the stellar show from masked DJ Claptone, with over 1,700 people in attendance. It was a grand finale following a slow start due to pandemic restrictions that limited occupancy, although on 12 February a degree of normality returned to the entertainment sector, allowing for bigger crowds. Internationally renowned DJs like Claptone, Wally López, Cuartero, Paco Osuna and Dennis Cruz, among many others, made certain the new L’Abarset achieved its goal of being a European après-ski hotspot in its first season. The venue ended the campaign with good ratings and its sights set on next season, when it will continue to build on the strong foundations laid this year.

 

THE MAJOR INTERNATIONAL EVENTS RETURN

The excitement of major international competitions has returned to Grandvalira this season. The resort welcomed some of the most important races on the international ski calendars and has shown once again that it is more than prepared to host big sporting events. The highlight of the season was the Alpine Skiing European Cup Finals, held from 14 to 20 March with more than 200 racers from 34 countries, where Andorran Joan Verdú was crowned European champion in Giant. The International Ski Federation praised the resort's great organisation and particularly the skill and effort put forward to overcome adversities. Furthermore, this event also served as a test ahead of the 2023 World Cup Finals, which will return to the Principality from 13 to 19 March of next year. Prior to that event, Grandvalira has 25 May marked in red on its calendar: the day when the site of the 2027 World Ski Championships will be selected in Milan, which Andorra hopes to host.

Meanwhile, this season the largest domain in Southern Europe was also the stage for the awarding of the Crystal Globes for the Speed Skiing World Cup, which took place from 30 March to 2 April. Finally, the Sportiva Andorra Skimo: The Mountain Refuge Crossing is back after not being held last year, with more than 800 participants signed up for the various races.

Ordino Arcalís also saw big moments of international competition, hosting the Freeride World Tour, the most important international circuit in off-piste skiing which has been stopping at the Andorran resort for the last 8 years. The freeride event ended with the Freeride Junior Tour and the Jam Extreme, which brought to Ordino Arcalís the best European riders of the moment and the young talents hoping to become the international stars of the future, with a total of more than 170 athletes between the two competitions. And of course there was the traditional Borrufa Trophy, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, with 175 young skiers participating from 16 different countries.

 

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For your interest ...

Grandvalira 2021-2022
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