Ski Resorts Are Pivoting to Mountain Biking Amid Climate Change

For some people, skiing isn’t just a hobby–it’s how they make a living. For decades, European resorts have made millions of dollars by inviting tourists to ski on their slopes. Unfortunately, this way of life is largely dependent on the climate. When the snow starts to melt, they can’t make money off a ski resort anymore. And since the climate has been gradually getting warmer, many resorts are experiencing longer summers and shorter winters.

Some resorts have compensated by increasing their prices or installing snow machines on the mountains. However, others have figured out a different way to cope. In particular, one resort in Austria has figured out a way to stay open during the summer. St. Corona has added hiking trails, mountain biking trails, rock climbing areas and other outdoor activities that are perfect for the summer heat. When winter arrives, St. Corona transitions back into a ski resort.

Many resorts don’t survive a sudden shift in their business model. However, now that it’s open all year round, St. Corona has attracted more customers than ever. In 2020, tens of thousands of mountain bikers visited the resort to check out its steep, winding trails. Hundreds of thousands of other guests visited during the summer to take part in other activities like hiking and tobogganing.

As a result, St. Corona has been able to make up for the lost winter revenue. While other resorts are still sticking to skiing, some have visited St. Corona to figure out how they can apply their business model to their own location. With their towering mountains and natural greenery, ski resorts are a natural choice for mountain bikers during the summer. As the climate continues to change, an increasing number of ski resorts might have to convert into summer resorts or end up closing their doors altogether.