With just Val d'Isere, Tignes, Val Thorens, Chamonix and la Grave still open French alpine ski resorts are clearing up and taking stock after a prodigiously snowy winter. The conclusion in a report by France Montagnes is that the 2012/13 season was a good but not exceptional and that it was adversely affected by a late Easter holidays.
Occupancy in ski resorts was between 68-75%. Much the same as last season. Ski lifts saw an increase of 4% in skier/days to 57.5 million, just below the record breaking 2008/9 season which registered 58.5 million. The easter holiday period represented just 3% of skier days compared to 10% three years ago. Is this just down to holidays or part of a trend? With some exceptions ski resorts appear to be closing earlier even when the snow is good in an effort to control costs. Shops saw turnouver up 6%; +6.5% for hire, +5% for sales. Around 70% of skiers hire their gear and 30% of rentals are now done over the web. Russian and Ukrainian guest numbers were up 10% compared to last season and represent an increasingly important market for French ski resorts. Cross country ski resorts saw turn-over up 12% due to very good snow conditions in the Jura, Vosges and Massif Central.