Skiers face steep price rises

2008-10-24

Budget skiers and those heading to the US slopes face big price rises this season, according to foreign currency supplier First Rate Exchange Services. The survey of 14 key destinations found Romania’s Poiana Brasov was the cheapest destination this season based on in-resort costs. It displaces Bulgaria’s Borovets, which falls to third, ahead of Italy’s La Thuile and behind Slovakia. The change is because prices have risen sharply in the Bulgarian resort, fuelled by a 10% drop in the value of sterling against the Bulgarian Lev and higher in-resort costs that First Rate estimates has pushed up total prices by 47%. The poll found Slovakia to be the second cheapest area to ski in Europe. However, it is not regarded as a serious contender in the market and the country joins the Eurozone in January, which will wipe out any potential currency advantage.First Rate also found sharp price rises in US resorts as the pound continues to weaken against the dollar. It concludes that the US has overtaken Canada as the most expensive of the 14 destinations that it surveyed. First Rate estimates that prices in the US resort of Vail have risen by 55% in the past year, as the pound is now worth around 18% less against the dollar than it was 12 months ago. Resort costs have also increased due to increased utility and fuel prices.A spokeswoman for Thomson Ski & Snowboarding agreed that prices in Bulgaria and risen sharply, but said there were other beginners’ resorts which were good value for money.