Even in economically uncertain times, the ski industry never stops moving.
As Europe gears up for the new season — in some resorts it’s already started — here are just a few of the new openings to look forward to over the coming winter...
New airline Powdair launches on 11 December, connecting six UK airports to the Swiss town of Sion and massively cutting transfer times to resorts including Verbier, Crans Montana and Nendaz. One-way fares start at £125, including ski carriage, with departures from London City, Southend, Luton, Bristol, Southampton and also Manchester.
Increased flights to Grenoble means easier access to Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes. British Airways and Jet2 are running Saturday flights from Heathrow and Stansted respectively, with Jet2 also running Saturday and Sunday flights from Birmingham.
Austria is getting a boost too, with new flights from Gatwick to Klagenfurt with easyJet starting on 16 December. British Airways has got four flights a week from Heathrow to Salzburg, shortening the transfer times to Zell-am-See-Kaprun.
Four Seasons has chosen chic Megève as its first location in a European ski resort, and will be opening its high-end hotel and spa in mid-December. Doubles start at €650 (£585). Not to be outdone, the Hyatt group is also opening its first mountain hotel, the four-star Hyatt Centric, in La Rosière, with doubles from €293 (£257).
Emboldened by the success of its two K2 hotels in Courchevel, K2 Collections is opening a third boutique luxury hotel, K2 Djola. Doubles start at €340 (£306). If you want to enjoy the Three Valleys on a budget, then opt for the stylish new ho36 hostel opening in Les Menuires in December, where doubles are only €35 (£31).
Club Med continues its expansion around France, this winter settling in the Grand Massif ski domain above the village of Samoëns. Its 423-room hotel will offer all-inclusive luxury from £1,309pp.
Families are the focus in the new three-star Hotel Franz Ferdinand in Nassfeld in Austria’s Carinthia region. Crystal has a week’s half board from £505pp including flights to Klagenfurt and transfers.
New chalets and apartments
It’s hard to get more ski-in-ski-out than the new Chalet des Cascades in Les Arcs, which is right on the piste at Arc 2000. This seven-bedroom catered chalet with an indoor pool can be booked with Flexiski, which has four nights from £745pp including flights.
Luxurious catered Chalet Caro is right in the centre of Méribel, sleeps eight and is available through Meriski from €6,000 (£5,400) a week. VIP Ski is running two new deluxe apartments that used to be the old cinema in the centre of Morzin
Colibri Uno sleeps up to 12 and costs from £1,079pp, which includes flights, transfers and chalet board.
New ski areas and lifts
Four ski resorts in the French Pyrénées have banded together to form a new 247km ski area, Pyrénées 2 Vallées. St-Lary, Peyragudes, Piau-Engaly and Val Louron will be on the same lift ticket and linked by shuttle bus.
The new Coulouvrier bowl between Samöens and Morillon will feature Europe’s longest chairlift, at 2,850m.
In Courchevel, a new bubble lift at Moriond will be running alongside a hair-raising 3,000m toboggan run with a 450m vertical descent. And Selva di Gardena’s new speedy 10-seater gondola will improve the access to Italy’s Sellaronda ski circuit.