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Smart Thinking Keeps Andorra Runs Open

Aug 17, 2007
When you think of snow, you think of mountains, skiing, and beautiful scenery. They all just go together. But what happens to a well known ski resort that can boast the best skiing in the Pyrenees, when there is such a drastic change in the weather that the snow just can't fall? That is exactly what has happened in the Principality of Andorra.

Andorra, a small country in southwestern Europe, is bordered by France and Spain, only two and a half hours from Barcelona in the eastern Pyrenees. To reach this mountainous region, travel is either via Spain or France. Here the people have the longest life expectancy in the world, at 83 years; maybe the outdoors and the skiing play a factor.

Andorra depends on tourism for its main support. Their duty free shopping, well known tax haven status, and the summer and winter resorts are what attract the tourists in such large numbers. It is estimated that between 9 and 11 million tourists visit Andorra each year. With such a high dependency on tourism, the lack of snowfall can essentially cripple the ski season, causing a dire affect on the economy.

However, it was a smart investment in snow making machines, called snow cannons, which have enabled Andorra to be open this season. Their ski season runs from mid December to April. Had they not invested in these machines, there would be no skiing. Visitor numbers are estimated to be down only 10% to 15% this year (one Andorra travel guide estimates as high as 40%), but had the runs been closed those numbers would be a lot higher. Other resorts in the Pyrenees had to close down due to the warm weather and lack of snowfall.

It is because of smart thinking, and good business sense, the mountain runs are being maintained by more than 1,000 snow making cannons, keeping up to 20 centimeters of snow on the 60 kilometers of slopes.

One thing this winter has proved is that even if the climate continues to change, and the snow refuses to fall, Andorra has the technology to make plenty of snow. This means, the ski slopes of Andorra can open each year, while others may not have the technology or funds available to do the same.

At one time, Andorra was known as one of the cheapest places to ski in Europe. Are they concerned they are no longer the cheapest? Not at all, in fact, they are trying to rank themselves with the French and Austrian resorts, classier in stature. By improving their skiing, increasing the amount of four and five star hotels, and opening gourmet restaurants and spas they are hoping to achieve that upscale allure.

Now with restaurants that can compare and compete with those in Barcelona and Madrid, Andorra has the whole package. They are not just a resort that sells skiing; they are selling an experience, one that will be remembered for a lifetime. If you are trying to decide where next to take a vacation, if you want someplace beautiful, and unique, with mountainous views that will take your breath away, think Andorra.
About the Author
Tribune Properties offer details by request of residency and Andorra property and also produce a guide for the tax haven of Monaco which includes details of Monaco banks and the casino in Monte Carlo.
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