SANTIAGO, Chile – “Together with the Sub-Secretary of Tourism and Turismo Chile, we have put forth different actions abroad to strengthen our country as the leader of snow destinations within South America, hoping to achieve an increase of foreign visitors to choose Chile and enjoy its mountains. We have already received a great amount of snow in our ski centers, allowing us to be prepared to receive them,” commented Miguel Purcell, President of the Ski Association of Chile, about the country’s ski season.
The 2014 ski season kicked off in Chile with a ceremony at La Parva Ski Center, attended by the Sub-Secretary of Tourism, Javiera Montes; President of the Ski Association and CEO of Ski Portillo, Michael Purcell; and the CEOs of El Colorado, Peter Leatherbee; Valle Nevado, Ricardo Margulis; and La Parva, Thomas Grob.
“Chile offers a wide range of possibilities associated with winter sports tourism to attract national and foreign visitors,” said Sub-Secretary of Tourism Javiera Montes during the event.
“In the central region we have ski centers in the Metropolitan, Valparaiso and O´Higgins regions, and further south we have complete facilities in the Biobio, Araucania, Los Lagos, Aysen and Magallanes regions. We are estimating that our ski centers will receive 900,000 visitors this season, both domestic and international, of which between 600 and 700 thousand will be concentrated in the central region alone.”
Based on estimates from the Ski Association, members expect to receive a 15 percent increase in the number of tourists over the 2013 season, year on year. In order to provide higher quality conditions and an extended season, members have invested nearly 9.5 million dollars in infrastructure, maintenance and slope improvements.
Portillo: Portillo was awarded as the Best Ski Resort in Chile by the World Ski Awards and is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year with diverse activities throughout the season, from film cycles to retro ski races. The ski center will also have an exclusive program for World Cup fans including a big screen to enjoy the matches. In terms of infrastructure, Portillo is continuing to refurbish its rooms, investing approximately US$ 1 million.
Valle Nevado: Valle Nevado will feature new slopes, a new adult and children training section, improvements in service and new real-estate projects, in addition to the gondola installment, the first of its kind in the country. Valle Nevado also offers an website where visitors can book private or group lessons and tickets.
El Colorado: Among its new attractions, El Colorado feature a new lift in the Olympic Park Valley (VOP) area this season, as well as a new section at the Colorado Chico snow park, called Urban Park. The ski center also offers sled slopes, a museum displaying old snowcat machines and a family oriented restaurant, “El Iglú.”
Farellones: Farellones has launched the Parque Nieve, geared towards travelers who would like to enjoy the snow and the mountain at a favorable price. The center also offers snowshoe trails for those who do not practice skiing or snowboarding. After a day of exploration in Farellones, visitors may enjoy a nice hot chocolate to restore their energy at the “El Montañés.”
La Parva: This season, La Parva launches the Alta Parva Snowpark by ACER, located along 350,000 square feet of the Tortolas slope. The center has also expanded artificial snow production by 20 percent for the slopes, thanks to their new PB 600 Select snowcat, the most modern in Chile. Additionally, La Parva is developing a new real-estate project named “Vista Pioneros.”