The closure of Isola 2000 last weekend marks a definitive end to the ski season, but many of the region’s resorts didn’t make it so far into the year.
“We have had record attendances every weekend in January,” proclaimed Virginie Tumorticchi, the head of the Isola 2000 tourism office. The resort experienced a bumper year with foreign tourists filling the slopes for five months. “It’s a record for the Nice-Côte d’Azur ski stations,” says Jean-Christophe Desens, the head of the resort, which at times welcomed 7,000 visitors a day.
When the slopes closed for the season on 23rd April, the curtain was drawn on a successful season, with around 50cm of natural snow remaining on the peaks of one of the region’s most popular resorts.
Early closures throughout the region
However, not all resorts have been as lucky as Isola 2000. Just a matter of kilometres down the road, Auron was one of many resorts forced to close early due to the lack of snowfall. Located at a lower altitude, the resort had initially planned to close on 23rd April but ended the season 13 days earlier on 10th April. The lack of snow was the deciding factor behind a difficult decision.
Changing meteorological conditions have also forced Valberg to adapt. “It’s rare that we go beyond the end of March now,” says Pierre-Ange Bazzali, the co-manager of a ski rental shop at the resort. This year, Valberg closed its slopes on 19th March due to rising temperatures and rain. The resort hadn’t had fresh snowfall since 23rd January.
“Compared to recent years, we worked well every weekend this season. The season has gone very well, despite very little snow,” added Bazzali. Gréolières-les-Neiges is another resort that was forced to close its slopes earlier than expected in March.
Whilst the return of foreign visitors en-masse was welcome, conditions at many resorts underwhelmed this season. Short but sweet is perhaps the best way to summarise the 2022/23 season for the Côte d’Azur’s popular ski slopes.
Photo by Fun Radio Côte d’Azur/Facebook