Kranjska Gora ranked the Eurozone’s ‘best value ski resort’
According to The Post Office’s Ski Holiday Money Report, resort prices are looking a bit higher this year. Our financial advisor, Peter Derrick, reports:
Kranjska Gora… please take a bow!
The Slovenian resort of Kranjska Gora was yesterday named the ‘best value ski resort’ in the Eurozone. Hot on its heels, in second and third place respectively, were Livigno in Italy and the Austrian resort of Ellmau. The absolute cheapest though, outside the Eurozone, was Bansko in Bulgaria.
This is all according to a new survey which analyses the cost of skiing.
The Ski Resort Report 2013 is published annually by the Post Office, based on data from the UK’s largest tour operator, Crystal. It compares the average prices of lift passes, ski hire and tuition, and food and drink in ten representative resorts across Europe.
“Resort prices are looking a bit higher this year and this can have a big impact on families when invididual prices are multiplied for three, four or more people,” said Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money.
He continued: “Families who have not yet booked will be well advised to compare resort prices for ski equipment hire and lift passes, as well as for meals and drinks as these can make a big difference to the overall cost of a ski holiday.”
Bansko in Bulgaria – was actually the cheapest resort overall in the report, outside the Eurozone. The Austrian resort of Schladming was rated most expensive at £448.30 (for the average cost of six days’ ski equipment, lift passes, ski school, drinks and lunch on the slopes), considerably more than Kranjska Gora at £325.54 or Bansko at £273.81. Surprisingly, no Swiss resorts were included in the survey this year. Here is the complete list:
BEST VALUE RESORTS
1 Bansko (Bulgaria) £273.81
2 Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) £325.54
3 Livigno (Italy) £350.73
4 Ellmau (Austria) £367.69
5 Morzine (France) £402.42
6 Sestriere (Italy) £406.43
7 Ruka (Finland) £414.88
8 Soldeu (Andorrra) £432.03
9 Cervinia (Italy) £439.33
10 Mayrhofen (Austria) £442.86
Selva (Italy) £444.94
Schladming (Austria) £448.30
Interestingly, when you factor in family ski passes and family ski school packages the order changes for the top ten resorts. Although Bansko and Kranjska Gora remain the most affordable options, Soldeu in Andorra moves up from 8th to 3rd place in the affordability rankings, Ruka is cheaper than Morzine, and the Austrian resorts have overtaken the Italians! Here’s the Post Office’s family ski resort results:
BEST FOR FAMILIES
1 Bansko (Bulgaria) £884.78
2 Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) £1,149.78
3 Soldeu (Andorra) £1,193.07
4 Ellmau (Austria) £1,197.13
5 Ruka (Finland) £1,416.61
6 Morzine (France) £1,424.06
7 Mayrhofen (Austria) £1,426.41
8 Schladming (Austria) £1489.41
9 Cervinia (Italy) £1,500.80
10 La Tuile (Italy) £1,570.03
It is interesting to see that, although Bansko is easily the cheapest, less than £50 separates the next three resorts – Kranjska Gora, Soldeu and Ellmau. This is excellent news, demonstrating that there is plenty of choice of affordable skiing for families on the market. Cervinia has entered the top ten for family value this year at the expense of Les Deux Alpes, where prices have increased by over 15%.
On family packages, Andrew Brown remarked: “While Eastern Europe again looks to offer the best value for families watching the pounds, this should not be the only issue when planning a ski holiday. It’s important to choose a resort that matches each family members’ ability and needs.”
In North America, of the eight ski resorts surveyed (again based on 6-day ski pass, equipment hire, ski school, drinks and lunch on the slopes), Winter Park, Colorado – a hugely popular family resort – emerged as best value, with prices down by almost 20% this season. Sterling has strenghtend against the Canadian dollar and, as a result, Tremblant’s prices have dropped by almost 22%. Prices for beginners are almost 15% cheaper in the USA than in Canada. Here’s the full list:
1 Winter Park (USA) £527.75
2 Tremblant (Canada) £618.14
3 Fernie (Canada) £673.76
4 Banff (Canada) £674.38
5 Tahoe (USA) £698.32
6 Whistler (Canada) £750.26
7 Vail (USA) £813.27
8 Breckenridge (USA) £821.31
Of the world-class resorts surveyed, Wengen in Switzerland came out most expensive in Europe at £639.28, closely followed by St Anton in Austria (£607.79) and the Swiss resort of Zermatt at £593.36. In North America, Vail took the crown for most expensive ‘world-class resort’ at £813.27, with Canada’s Whistler and Tahoe in the States in second and third place respectively with the hefty totals of £750.26 and £698.32.
From this year’s report, it’s once again clear that skiing is not a ‘cheap’ holiday. However, if you do homework, you can cut costs even simply by resort-swapping within a country. For instance, swapping Les Deux Alpes for Morzine in France could save 15%; in Austria, exchanging Kaprun for Ellmau could save you up to 25%.
There are many other ways to keep costs down too – by booking early; pre-booking ski equipment and lift passes; and selecting resorts with special incentives such as free lift passes for children. For more tips, see FamilySkiNews.com KEEPING COSTS DOWN, and don’t forget to check the HOLIDAY DEALS section regularly for bargain family ski holidays.