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Snow Business


Europe’s ski resorts haven’t been getting enough snow. Amedeo Reale isn’t worried. He’s the president of Sci Club 18, in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The town is in Italy’s Dolomite mountains. In 2026, the area will host the women’s Winter Olympics downhill skiing events.

“The only thing we are scared of is having one or two months of hot weather,” Reale says. That isn’t likely, though. The slopes are more than 5,000 feet above sea level. That’s cold enough for artificial snow.

But other parts of Europe are not so lucky. They’ve been getting warmer weather. Climate trends seem to show that muddy ski slopes will become a regular thing. There could also be periods with lots of snow. They’d be mixed in with periods of rain and even heat.

That would be bad for business. Mountain villages depend on regular snow and reliable reliable dependable (adjective) I bought a reliable shovel after I broke my last three. conditions. Snow brings skiers. They spend money on lift fees, hotels, and equipment rentals. No snow means no tourists. And no income.

SHUT DOWN A ski lift at a resort in southern Italy is closed in January due to a lack of snow.


“Global warming is a serious thing,” Reale says. But Cortina d’Ampezzo might be spared. At least for now. “I don’t think there is any problem. Especially with artificial snow.”

No Snow, No Show

Artificial snow could save Italy’s ski industry, Rolando Galli says. He runs a ski lift in the resort of Abetone. It has done about $2 million less business this season because of the lack of snow.

But artificial snow would be a short-term fix. Snow cannons only work at freezing temperatures or below. In January, it hit 68°F in Switzerland. One resort tried to fly in snow by helicopter.

In years to come, some resorts might not be able to use artificial snow. They might have to switch to summertime activities, like quad bikes and horse riding.

BARE EARTH Visitors eat lunch outside the Campitello Matese ski resort, in Italy, in January. No skiing was available.


Thinking Ahead

The lack of snow is making it hard to find the right conditions for sports competition. This year, organizers of the World Cup ski races had to cancel events in Germany. The International Olympic Committee has even delayed naming a host for the 2030 Winter Games.

Marco Bussone is the president of a group that represents Italy’s mountain communities. He says promoting summertime sports is probably a good business strategy.

DRY PEAKS A lack of snowfall means the Campitello Matese resort can’t attract skiers.


Galli says mountain towns should invest in reservoirs reservoir a place where liquid is kept; a human-made lake (noun) The reservoir flooded after a heavy rainfall. . In the summer, these could be tourist destinations—for fishing, boating, and sightseeing. “Climate change is something that we have to face,” he says. “We can’t just put our heads in the ground and ignore it.”

Melting Away


Since 1924, 21 cities have hosted the Winter Olympics. The first was Chamonix, France (pictured). If global temperatures keep rising at the current rate, only four of those places will have conditions appropriate for competition by 2050. That’s the prediction of a recent scientific report. Cortina d’Ampezzo, in Italy, would be rated “unacceptable,” the report says. Only Sapporo, Japan, is considered a reliable bet for the 2078 or 2082 games.