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Granada's Sierra Nevada. Ideal
Spain's Sierra Nevada ski resort closes historic 'top 10' season with more than one million visitors
Skiing

Spain's Sierra Nevada ski resort closes historic 'top 10' season with more than one million visitors

There was scarce snowfall early on in the 2023/4 season followed by heavy snow storms which produced the best skiing days, but which, on the other hand, forced the closure of the facilities for 14 days

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Granada

Monday, 29 April 2024, 18:32

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Granada's Sierra Nevada ski and mountain resort closed its 2023/24 season on Sunday 28 April with 1,100,945 users - the seventh highest overall number in its history.

It has been a season marked by adverse weather conditions, with scarce snowfall early on in winter, followed by heavy snow storms which produced the best skiing days, but which, on the other hand, forced the closure of the facilities for 14 days (plus three partial closures), one of the highest figures in the historical series.

These weather fronts, accompanied by very strong winds, forced the total closure of the facilities for 14 days, the second highest number in the station's history. There were also three days of partial closure. March was particularly complicated and saw half of the entire season's closures, which also coincided with days when a large number of visitors were expected during Easter Week, when activity in the Sierra Nevada was very low.

The councillor for development, territorial planning and housing, and president of Cetursa Sierra Nevada, Rocío Diaz, has indicated that "despite the enormous difficulties, it has been a good year for the ski resort, with the longest season in southern Europe with 149 days".

Díaz highlighted improvements that have been made to the resort including "the incorporation of the Al Ándalus gondola lift, the sixth new lift in two seasons", as well as hosting the Snowboard Cross World Cup for the second year in a row.

CEO of Cetursa Sierra Nevada Jesús Ibáñez said that the resort has made an "extraordinary effort to combat a very complicated meteorological season" which, nevertheless, has given "more than remarkable results", which, in his opinion, "shows the strength of the resort".

The season has registered 780,816 skiers and 330,129 users of snow activities for non-skiers. This last record represents a record number of visitors thanks to the new Mirlo Blanco leisure facilities (where the new ice rink has been very popular), the Borreguiles facilities (with the snowmobile sledge as the main attraction) and the use of cable cars for walkers.

The Sierra Nevada has been the winter resort with the longest season in southern Europe with a total of 149 days of operation (from 3 December to 28 April), the only ski resort that has maintained skiing activity well into the spring. In the middle of the season, which are the resort's busiest months, hotel occupancy was 70 per cent.

As well as the new ski lifts, other novelties this season have included a snow production centre with state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment, themed slopes and special devices for access control and information on waiting times.

A fundamental role in the start of the season was played by the renewed energy efficient snowmaking system which produces the same amount of snow but with half the electricity consumption.

Sports and music

Despite the weather setbacks, The Sierra Nevada was able to fulfil almost the entire sporting calendar of official competitions. The resort hosted more than 29 national and regional alpine skiing, mountain skiing, snowboarding and freeskiing competitions in all categories and ages, from the youngest to the oldest skiers.

These competitions included four Spanish championships: alpine skiing (slalom), slope style and mountain skiing. In addition, competitions such as the Ultra Sierra Nevada and Snow Running each attracted more than a thousand runners.

However, the event of greatest international relevance was, once again the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup, which attracted the some of the world's best snowboarders leading to live television coverage for the main snow markets in the world.

The resort also hosted the fifth Sun and Snow electronic music festival and the Borreguiles DJ Session.

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