Years of poor snowfall have forced local officials to rethink the future of the family-friendly ski resort of Gréolières les Neiges, which is set to rebrand as Gréolières 1400.
Found just 20 kilometres inland as the bird flies from the beaches of the Côte d’Azur, Gréolières les Neiges has long been a favourite with French Riviera families looking for a fun day out of skiing and sledging, but the essential snow cover that provides the base for these activities is far from guaranteed these days.
Just five of 20 pistes are open in Gréolières les Neiges at the moment – four greens and one red run – and all have been 100% supplemented by artificially produced snow. The entire Nordic skiing section of the resort, which had proved popular earlier in the season, has been shut to the public and it appears that sledging is off the cards too after the unusually warm temperatures of last week melted away almost all of the snow in the resort’s vicinity.
During colder – and snowier – times, there have been as many as 30 kilometres of skiing pistes at Gréolières les Neiges, but that is certainly not looking likely at any point this winter.
This realisation led the local council to vote in favour of a name change and rebrand last August. According to France 3, Gréolières les Neiges is to soon become Gréolières 1400 in a nod to the resort’s location at 1,400 metres above sea level.
“Snow alone will not be enough to maintain the economic dynamics of the municipality,” Marc Malfatto, the mayor of Gréolières, told the news outlet, “but, at 1,400 metres, you can do more than just ski or sledge.”
As temperatures edged close to 20°C over the weekend, a post on the Gréolières les Neiges Facebook page advertised the various “non-ski” activities available at the resort, from a treetops experience and Explor Game® to hiking, snow scootering and even a giant bowling alley on the lower piste. Some of these will be able to continue throughout the season, but there are others that will have to be pulled if the resort continues to suffer from a sustained lack of snowfall.
There is no snow on the horizon yet, with clear skies and temperatures climbing up to 17°C predicted for the next 10 days, but there will be many at the resort and across the region who will be hoping for a change in the forecast.
To view the live webcame footage of Gréolières les Neiges, click here.
Photo source: Gréolières les Neiges, Facebook