Sizing up the chalet question
Liquidity, length of season and what happens beyond the slopes are three major factors affecting today’s ski-property-buying decisions. Arabella Youens investigates which resorts are luring in the next generation
TODAY’S ski-chalet buyer is not who he used to be. Now that the baby boomers have hung up their skis, a new breed of enthusiasts is taking to the slopes in a very different way. For one thing, the sport has gone virtual: from checking conditions online to sharing mountain-top photos on social media and recording stunt videos for Youtube, today’s skiers and snowboarders simultaneously use their smartphone with their salopettes.
Recent research by Savills highlights that the ever-growing range of leisure options for this generation is spreading the prospective market even thinner. Resorts are realigning themselves to lure skiers in, offering on-slope free wi-fi and moving away from the traditional rustic look preferred by the older afficionados, towards a more contemporary style. Savills cite annual events such as Snowboxx in Avoriaz, a week-long affair with late-night parties held in igloos, and Snowbombing in Mayrhofen, Austria, dubbed the ‘Glastonbury of ski-resort festivals’, as evidence that groomed pistes and glasses of vin chaud en plein air are no longer enough to attract the younger market.
‘Skier numbers in the west are at a plateau, or, in some markets, in decline,’ says Paul Tostevin of Savills World Research (020–7016 3883), adding that,