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The FGC Turisme resorts end the season and revalidate their commitment to the territory for another year

Notice date: 07-04-2024
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Tags: FGC Turisme resorts end the season, commitment to the territory

The activity of FGC Turisme has meant an aggregate business of almost 50 million euros and 2,800 jobs for the mountain valleys where they are located


The snowfall, especially in March, and the snow production have allowed the ski areas to be open 125 days from December to April.


The resorts are already preparing for the start of the summer season in June.

The six ski and mountain resorts have closed the 2023-2024 season generating an aggregate business volume of more than 50 million euros in the mountain valleys where they are located.


La Molina, Vallter, Espot Esquí, Port Ainé, which initially planned to close on Monday, April 1, finally dismissed the winter season a week later, Sunday 7. Boí Taüll still plans to reopen next Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14. Vall de Núria, for its part, kept its ski area open until March 31, but this tourist facility is open 365 days a year and always maintains the usual tourist services of zip-line transport, restaurant and accommodation


Except for the month of March, marked by heavy snowfall, this winter has been characterized by the drought that has affected the whole of Catalonia and by abnormally higher than normal temperatures. However, it has been possible to reduce the impact of weather effects and ensure good opening and service conditions for visitors, who have been able to enjoy the FGC stations from December until the last day of the season already in spring.


The good condition of the slopes, the wide variety of services and the many alternative activities to skiing and snowboarding have been fundamental elements in achieving positive figures. The six tourist facilities of Ferrocarrils have been open up to a maximum of 125 days. In this sense, then, Ferrocarrils has maintained its commitment as a public service and has kept its tourist facilities open throughout the winter season.

Summary of the season by resorts

Boí Taüll, in Alta Ribagorça, is the one that has recorded the best season of all the stations in the group with 125 days of open ski lifts and heavy snowfalls at the end of the season that have left up to a maximum thickness on pistes of 260 cm and total snowfall of 415 cm. In this sense, the resort will reopen its facilities next weekend of April 13 and 14 so that skiers and snow lovers can enjoy it to the maximum in the best conditions.


The Ribagorça resort has been the scene this winter of the Ski Mountain World Cup and which has brought together the best specialists in the world for the third consecutive year, which consolidates the resort in the permanent international circuit of this modality of skiing The holding of these tests at the end of January with great participatory and organizational success has brought together more than 400 athletes and technicians involved (more than 250 athletes and technicians and more than 200 accredited people) and a repercussion of nearly €300,000 in the 'economic activity of the Vall de Boí


On the other hand, in the section beyond sports, the après ski program at the Terrassa Cow Boí, with DJ music and entertainment with a varied local ecological gastronomic offer, has added value to the overall offer of the station


Regarding the section on sustainability and energy efficiency, Boí Taüll has installed and launched 10 charging points for electric vehicles in the P2 car park.


Working in its firm commitment to improving accessibility, the station has launched both an inclusive changing room and a walkway from P2 to the central terrace of the resort, intended for people with reduced mobility or with special needs. In this sense, an auditory loop has also been installed at the information point to improve communication with hearing impaired people.


Port Ainé resort has concluded the season with a total of 34 snowfalls that have accumulated 243 cm of snow and a maximum thickness of 190 cm. Despite sudden changes in temperature, where temperatures as low as -12.4ºC have been recorded, the conditions have finally allowed 100% of the ski domain to open, allowing visitors to enjoy all the services and activities.


The resort has proposed a wide range of events that have taken place in Port Ainé, more than 30 in total. From sporting competitions to live performances to cultural, musical and gastronomical celebrations, the resort has provided a variety of options for all tastes and ages. Highlighting the consolidation of activities during the Christmas period, the station organized the "Port Ainé Christmas Festival", an extraordinary event that included live performances, workshops, musical vermouths, traditions such as making the uncle poop and many others activities for the whole family. This initiative has contributed to creating a festive and welcoming atmosphere, making Port Ainé a favorite destination for the Christmas holidays.


This year, the resort has again bet to bring visitors closer to the Carnival festivities, which are very much celebrated at Pallars, by offering the authentic Pallars Carnival meal: the calderada. This local gastronomic experience has been enlivened with a charanga, creating a festive and traditional atmosphere for all attendees.


Port Ainé has also hosted the final of the third stage of the 103rd edition of the Volta Catalunya, a special category port, a giant of 18.6 km and an average gradient of 6.7% with maximum ramps of 13%.

In addition, Port Ainé has reinforced its commitment to the territory through unique gastronomic tastings, presenting local flavors and products to visitors.


Espot Esquí ended up accumulating around 245 cm of snow with the recorded snowfalls, the maximum thickness of snow recorded was 180 cm and winter temperatures were also recorded where on Monday January 8 the thermometer dropped to -9.2ºC in the 2000 level.


This season, Espot has offered a wide range of sporting, gastronomic and cultural events, consolidating itself as a meeting point for ski lovers. With a total of 12 sporting events, highlight the celebration of the Catalan Championships and the 3rd phase of the Copa España in school age. Also, with more than 10 cultural, gastronomic and ski-related events, such as the Starlight Day, the lowering of torches to welcome the Magi, the FECOLL screw-up or the Giska après-ski, between others, Espot has created a vibrant and energetic atmosphere for all visitors. Visitors had the opportunity to taste the flavors of the region and enjoy unique culinary experiences accompanied by the spectacular winter landscape.


The lack of snow in other resorts has led to an increase in activity at Espot, which has been seen as a reliable and attractive option for teams looking for optimal conditions for their training and competitions.


In keeping with its commitment to inclusivity, the station has installed an inclusive changing room at the base of the station. This innovative installation aims to significantly improve the user experience, ensuring that people with functional diversity can fully enjoy all the services and facilities offered by the station, promoting the inclusion of everyone in the experience of skiing and snow.

In an effort to preserve the natural environment and strengthen its commitment to sustainability, the Pallars stations continue to take significant steps to promote sustainable practices among their users as well as the conservation of nature with agreed and concrete actions by the hand of the Natural Park of the High Pyrenees and the National Park of Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici. The resorts actively encourage the responsible use of water and lights in the common spaces of the resort, encouraging visitors to be aware of their environmental impact and to collaborate in the preservation of the environment during their stay.


La Molina has organized a total of 53 events this winter, 19 of which have been sporting and four inclusive. It should be noted that this weekend, April 6 and 7, the season has closed with the celebration of the Absolute Championships of Catalonia, which have been I Memorial Lluís Breitfuss. With regard to inclusive events, the Inclusive Days with schoolchildren and La Cerdanya Foundations, the Day with the Johan Cruyff Foundation or the 12th ACELL Catalonia Championship for people with intellectual disabilities stand out.


With regard to après ski, it should be noted that the après ski Alabau by Estrella Damm has been well received, with DJ sessions every Saturday of the season. In terms of sustainability actions, during the 23-24 season a hybrid snowshoe machine was launched, which contributes to decarbonisation in the management of the ski domain, and a replacement of some lights distributed throughout the station for low-emission led lights.

In Ripollès, the mountain resort of Vall de Núria activity never stops, with a varied program of activities that will continue to be in service daily during the rest of the year, as usual. In fact, the Zipper has been open continuously since December 2. As for the ski and mountain resort, it has been open a total of 112 days. Over the course of the season, the snowfalls have totaled up to 188 cm and the maximum thickness of snow reached throughout the winter has been 70 cm. Tuesday, January 9, was the coldest day on record, with -10.3ºC.


Although it has not been a winter of snow or favorable temperatures, Vall de Núria has kept the debutante area open and has reached the continuity of the season according to the forecast of opening days. It should be noted that the Easter dates, together with the snowfall in March, have favored reaching the end of the season in very good conditions. As for the rest of the services, there has also been very good acceptance among visitors: Zipline, Cable Car, Mountain Station, Amusement Park, Snowshoeing, excursions...


A total of 70 events have been organized and the proposed Christmas activities have been particularly successful. In addition, from the station, astronomical observation by the Montsec Astronomical Park, snow machine outings, night snowshoe outings on full moon days, activities and gastronomy at the cabin have been promoted. from 17:00 in the afternoon, series of screenings of films from Muntanya, among others.


Vall de Núria has also carried out actions to improve the installation to optimize snow production with the replacement of snowmaking heads, with new technology, capable of producing more snow with less consumption, in less time and at a lower energy cost, taking into account the origin of the electricity supply coming from solar renewable energy. And, at the same time, the geothermal installation of the Sanctuary buildings has been expanded. And, finally, the accessibility of the Eina and Finestrelles river bridges has been adapted and inclusive toilets have been installed.


As for Vallter, the resort started the season on December 6. The average winter temperature was 5.8ºC, with temperature peaks of 15 degrees in mid-February. This fact has caused the thickness of snow during most of the season to have ranged between 5 cm and 15 cm.


With regard to the resort's sustainability and environmental actions, the pistes' schedule has been adjusted in order to maintain the durability of the snow as much as possible. Thanks to the improvements applied in the treading technique and the efficiency in the production of snow, a saving of €3 l/h has been achieved. At the same time, as a result of the improvements made to the snow production network, a 19.7% saving in energy expenditure has been achieved. Finally, it is important to highlight the "Estalvia Aigua Cada Gota Compta" campaign that the resort has carried out to make visitors aware of water conservation.


A total of 33 events have been held at the station, 14 of which have been family activities and workshops from Club Fajol and the rest have been festive events such as the New Year's party, carnivals and sports.


Vallter has deepened the process of diversification and has actively participated in activities with the territory such as participation in the Christmas Fair in Camprodon with a Vallter stand and the Ski Schools and with the "Live the experience" activity of 360" skiing with virtual reality glasses at Camprodon Town Hall, the Llanars Ice Rink and offering special promotions for people who live and work in Ripollès.


Campaigns have been carried out to promote skiing, flash offers to respond to the immediate conditions of the resort and actions have been carried out with the Patronat de la Costa Brava such as the live program of Radio Flaixbac. Also, once again, the commitment to La Volta has been revalidated, with great visibility in the cycling field and the station's own dissemination, with a live broadcast of the end of the stage the end of the stage which it could be seen in 187 countries and gastronomic events such as the GastroPirineus event that will be held tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, April 8 and 9, to promote Ripollès gastronomy and restaurants.


Return to the territory

The ski and mountain resorts of Ferrocarrils are tourist and sports facilities, but at the same time they become an essential tool for promotion and dynamism of the territory where they are located, all the while highlighting the offer of the snow sector and the activities in the open air 365 days a year. In fact, this winter season 2023-2024, the six stations have generated an economic impact on the territory of almost 50 million euros and have created almost 3,000 jobs. Therefore, FGC Turisme is a key driver of economic, social and sporting dynamism in Catalonia, which results in practically full hotel occupancy in the establishments of the mountain valleys. According to the data studied and collected by the UPF, the direct and indirect impact of the mountain resorts on the territory represent 9% of the total VAB (Gross Aggregate Value) of the region and 1.2% of the total GDP for each additional euro of the total associated expenditure.


Proposals beyond skiing

During the winter season, the railway stations have a wide range of heterogeneous activities that go beyond skiing. In this way, visitors can make the most of their experience in the high mountains.


La Molina, for example, offers the panoramic ride of the Cadí-Moixeró Gondola to the resort's highest point: the Niu de l'Àliga shelter and the La Tosa peak, at 2,537 m above sea level. Vallter, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to live one of the most spectacular experiences: evening dinners at altitude at the Marmotes cafeteria, after a snowshoe or mountain ski excursion. At the Pallars stations, on the other hand, a wide calendar of activities is proposed, such as local product tastings, performances, among others, designed for all audiences. As for Boí Taüll, the station offers a small introductory itinerary with snowshoes to enjoy the magic hour, that moment between sunset and night, ideal for capturing photographs of great beauty. And in Vall de Núria you can visit three exhibitions: “Memories of Snow” and “The Valley of the Five Elements”, at the Interpretation Centre; and "Ninety years of history. El Cremallera de Núria", at Ribes Vila station. At the same time, the six stations have 21 signposted itineraries for mountain skiing and snowshoe excursions and discovering the natural beauty of their surroundings.


Sustainable resorts

The six Ferrocarrils mountain resorts, committed to the environment, work actively to reduce the reduce the carbon footprint. During this season which concludes today, a progressive decarbonisation of 88.58% of greenhouse gas emissions has been achieved in recent years.


This season 2023-2024, during the celebration of the Ski Mountain World Championships on January 27 and 28 in Boí Taüll, the result of this event in terms of CO₂ emissions has been measured, according to with the requirements established in the GREENHOUSE GAS PROTOCOL that establishes the global framework for measuring and managing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The results show that 97.7% of the indirect emissions mostly correspond to the mobility of the attendees, with a carbon footprint per attendee of 0.211 tCO₂e.


After measuring and verifying the emissions produced, FGC Turisme compensates them through CO₂ credits that the Catalan Climate Change Office makes available, with the aim of financing sustainable projects in the territory, thus closing the circle and realizing the objective of promote sustainable events.


Another example of commitment to the environment can be found in Vall de Núria, with the ECOVALL project, which incorporates renewable energy. This tool makes it possible to strengthen the capacity for adaptation and resilience in the face of the climate emergency, while articulating and defining future strategies in terms of mitigation, being a benchmark through this instrument. This season, in addition, work has been done on the expansion of the current thermal installations through the "Gasoil Zero" Project in order to increase the production of renewable energy, as well as the incorporation of other synthetic fuels for track maintenance machines with the aim of reducing emissions, in this area, by 90%.


Currently, FGC resorts have management and environmental quality systems that follow the guidelines of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. At the same time, they collaborate with Natural Parks and have Environmental Management Systems (SGA) based on the ISO 14001 standard with which the stations of La Molina, Vall de Núria, Espot, Vallter and Port Ainé have, to carry out a more transversal management, efficient and dynamic, following the FGC Tourism 2030 Climate Action Plan.

An example of a circular water economy

At the Government's Climate Action Summit, held in January 2020, FGC made a commitment to reduce water and energy consumption in the field of snow production, as is the example of the 'energy savings in snow production of 19.7% that Vallter station has achieved this season. The mountain stations have concessions granted to the administration for the use of water, which is stored in lakes available in wells or catchments that in any case respect the minimum ecological flows.


In the production of snow there is no element that alters the composition of the water. Only one change of state is made (water transformed into ice and ice transformed into water). In the context of a ski resort, snow production does not have an impact on rivers and lakes. The water that comes out of the snowmakers is not obtained directly from any stream, it is always water previously stored during the rainy season, especially during the spring or autumn. They are man-made lakes that have been waterproofed and are located at strategic points in the ski area.


On the other hand, these pools of water are often intended for other uses outside the snow season, which can be recreational, favoring deseasonalization, emergency for human and animal consumption in case of drought or even , for supply in case of forest fire in nearby areas.


FGC Turisme ensures, through internal controls, the safeguarding of the ecological flows of rivers and streams. Therefore, all this fallen snow, with the thaw will return to the ponds and rivers and will be ready in the form of water for the next season's snow production. And so the cycle closes.


It should be noted that this winter the tests of the Snow Laboratory have begun in La Molina, an innovative system pioneering in the world to produce snow with less water, in less time and at a lower temperature.


Deseasonalization of tourist activities in the Catalan Pyrenees

The six tourist facilities of FGC are already working to start the new summer season 2024, which will be loaded with recreational and outdoor sports proposals for all audiences, so that they can enjoy the environment without rushing: panoramic trips in cable car to different points of the stations, hiking trips around the Natural Parks, road or mountain cycling routes on circuits designed for all levels, and family activities at the base of the resorts.


One of the main objectives of Ferrocarrils is to boost tourism in the Catalan Pyrenees to create business 365 days a year, with a clear dynamic for de-seasonalisation. For years, FGC Turisme has aimed to achieve a fair and equal balance throughout the Catalan area and to be a tourist reference in both winter and summer.

The FGC Turisme resorts end the season and revalidate their commitment to the territory for another year
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