The Oban Times & West High­land Times

The Oban Times - - LETTERS -

Many res­i­dents of the Lochaber area will be, quite un­der­stand­ably, some­what re­lieved that the re­gion has seen lit­tle in the way of snow or harsh win­ter weather con­di­tions.

It is, how­ever, a trou­bling de­vel­op­ment for the lo­cal tourism sec­tor, which has been suf­fer­ing from a down­turn in the num­ber of vis­i­tors.

As we re­port to­day, the Ne­vis Range man­aged to open for just one day in Jan­uary al­though the ar­ti­fi­cial slope is open at the mo­ment for be­gin­ner les­sons.

And Glen­coe Moun­tain Re­sort has also had a quiet sea­son, with di­rec­tor Andy Mel­drum say­ing: ‘We’ve had a slow start with just four days of skiing so far, but there’s been lots of sledg­ing. We’ve got plenty of big patches of snow but cur­rently not enough to ski.’

There is, con­se­quently, a dam­ag­ing knock- on ef­fect for other busi­nesses. One busi­ness owner, who ad­mit­ted be­ing a snow- de­pen­dent en­ter­prise, went so far as to say this was the qui­etest Jan­uary since 1990. Else­where, en­trepreneurs in Fort Wil­liam’s re­tail sec­tor say they are still wait­ing for the win­ter sea­son to be­gin.

But the busi­ness own­ers in this Out­door Cap­i­tal of the UK are re­silient and re­main con­fi­dent of a turn­around in for­tunes. We hope they are right.

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