Czech ski areas investing in improvements

New ski lifts and improved snow parks are among the innovations

Czech ski areas are getting ready for a new season. Collectively, the investment in modernization this year will reach three-quarters of a billion crowns, on top of half a billion crowns invested last year. The price of ski passes has risen by about 2 percent.

The average ski pass price for an adult is Kč 580, or some Kč 10 higher than last year, according to a comparison of 25 ski resorts by daily Metro.Improving snow conditions is the main concern.“The ability to produce enough snow in a short time is a key prerequisite for success,” Association Mountain Resort (AHS) director Libor Knot told Metro.

Resorts have invested in snow grooming vehicles that compact and even out the show on trails.

Infrastructure improvements to parking lots, slope safety, and bus service are also taking place.

The largest investments are being made in cable cars. The Hochficht Ski Resort on the Czech-Austrian border in Šumava in Southern Bohemia is investing Kč 300 million is a 10-seat cable car that will take people from the resort's main parking lot to Hraničník mountain in five minutes.

There are also new ski lifts in Eastern Bohemia. These are in Černý Důl in the Krkonoše mountains and in Deštné in Orlické hory. In Špindlerův Mlýn a ski lift from Horní Mísečky to Medvědín has been completely renovated. The ski center in Špindlerův Mlýn is also investing in landscaping and extending ski slopes.

New this year is Burton Snowpark for snowboarders and freestyle skiers in Horní Mísečky, located under the ski lift. It will have three linked areas.

Ski Areál Kopřivná at Malá Morávka in the Jeseníky mountains will get a six-seat lift with heating and a protective bubble. It will be the only lift of its kind in the Czech Republic.

In Pec pod Sněžkou, Skiresort Černá hora-Pec invested in a new 600-meter-long ski slope to Javoří důl, The ski area in Lipno in South Bohemia has invested in increases safety on slopes, a longer skicross track, and expansions to the snow park. Restaurants have been improved as well.

Recent winters in the Czech Republic have been warmer than average, and ski resorts are increasingly been relying on artificial snow. Most of the Kč 500,000 spent last year went to artificial snowmaking, according to Radio Prague. Money also went toward improving infrastructure, facilities for children and ski schools.

People don't have to leave Prague to go skiing, though. A cross-country track is planned for Vypich in Prague 6. People also use some of the city's forested parks for cross-country skiing.

Compared to neighboring countries such as Austria and Germany, skiing tends to be cheaper in the Czech Republic.

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