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The end of skiing in Czechia is near, says the head of the Špindlerův Mlýn ski resort

Due to global warming and rising electricity prices, skiing is becoming a luxury.

As Igor Rattaj, the head of the TMR company operating the area in Špindlerův Mlýn, points out, "it will no longer be a cheap entertainment for everyone".

The winter season in the Czech mountains did not start well, but it is still great compared to previous years affected by epidemics.

"Two years with the covid-19 meant a loss of more than a billion crowns for us. This year's season is not significantly profitable either as yet, but at least the accumulated loss is not increasing, which is essential," says Rattaj in the program Agenda Byznys Zprávy.

In addition to the Czech resorts in Špindlerův Mlýn and Ještěd, TMR Holding also operates other ski resorts in Slovakia, Austria and Poland. It was the first two mentioned countries that supported the company the most at the beginning of this season. But as far as the Czech Republic is concerned, Rattaj does not see the future of skiing rosy at all.

"If we take into account the altitude and the climate, the skiing has perspective only in Krkonoše, maybe on Klínovec. Other locations do not have a perspective - more and more winters like this one can be expected there," says Rattaj. In addition, the epidemic left most Czech resorts in a critical financial state. "Even if they look like they're still alive, they've 'died' a long time ago," he adds.

In addition to the bad weather and two years of the epidemic, the resorts were extremely affected by the increase in energy prices. Ski resorts need both lifts and snow cannons for their operation – both of which have extraordinary energy consumption.

"It is because of electricity prices and global warming why skiing is becoming an increasingly luxurious activity. It will no longer be an inexpensive fun for everyone. It's getting more similar to golf. It's just that not everyone will have the opportunity to ski as often as they used to," adds Rattaj.

Currently, skiers represent one sixth of the population in Czechia, in the future it will be just 10 %. For comparison: in Austria 36 % of people do ski, in Switzerland even

38 % percent, while in Poland around 9 %.

According to Rattaj, the map of ski areas in the Czech Republic will look completely different in 5-10 years. Only part of the operators will be able to afford to invest in infrastructure and artificial snow. "If we hadn't invested massively in the largest Slovak area in Jasná, there would be no skiing there at the moment," says Rattaj.

Despite this somewhat depressing perspective, the TMR company does not see

the operation of the area in Špindlerův Mlýn as fatal. "Within three years, we would like to complete our long-term investment and connect Medvědín and Svatý Petr ski areas. We have the funds ready, and wait for the necessary permissions. Once this investment is completed done, we can sit down and discuss what to do next," says Rattaj.

However, it was in the Alps where the largest recent investment of TMR was made.

In 2019, the group bought the ski resort on the Mölltal glacier and plans to modernize and expand it. The plan is to build a new cable car and extend the ski slopes to lower parts of the mountain.


Seznam Zprávy: (23.1.2023)


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