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For maximum usage, choose a resort with a longer ski season

Posted on 19 March 2014

As we enter the final weeks of skiing for 2013-14, buyers of property in the French Alps are reminded to check the length of the winter sports season in any resort where they consider purchasing.

Every year ski resorts will set an official opening and closing date for the forthcoming season, which is the period when the slopes should be fit for skiing with sufficient snow, and the lifts and gondolas operational. In years when the snow comes early, such as in November 2013, some resorts might decide to open before the official opening date, kicking off the season at weekends to start and limiting the number of lifts in operation. Conversely, if snow conditions are poor, resorts may put back their opening date.

Higher altitude resorts offer longer seasons, while those that are north-facing tend to keep snow for longer. Owners of homes in the Alps after guaranteed skiing for longer periods could also consider resorts with access to glacier skiing.

So when can you expect key French resorts to open for business and shut up shop for this season. Most, including Les Gets, Flaine, Samoens and Tignes opened officially on 21st December, but a handful were up and running before, including Val Thorens on 23rd November, Meribel on 7th December and Courchevel on 4th December. However, while many resorts close on either 13th, 19th or 25th April this year, those with a slightly longer season include Tignes and Val Thorens, both shutting on 4th May. Of course, a longer season means more opportunities to earn from rentals – another way a longer season can be beneficial.

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