The below article is reproduced from the EMEA Hotel Monitor, February 2012, Issue 9.
Produced by Whitebridge Hospitality.
Why Skiing and Golf
Golf’s role in boosting hotel performance levels at summer resorts during the shoulder seasons is well known. Take the Belek region in southern Turkey, where a government – backed initiative established in the 1980′s has resulted in the creation of one of Europe’s finest golfing destinations, now offering 14 courses and helping to drive increased demand to the region. Indeed, the number of rounds per visitor to the region has increased from 0.22 in 2004 to 0.35 in 2010.
The courses, helped by a favourable climate and good terrain, are all of a high standard and extremely well maintained according to Tim Lobb of Thomson Perrett & Lobb, Golf Course Architects.
What is less well known is that this model can also work in reverse. Ski resorts achieve their highest levels of performance during the key winter months when ski conditions are at their best. Despite their majestic beauty, during the warmer months of the year, the mountains are less popular and much of the costly resort infrastructure lies idle.
Golf could help! For example Thomson Perrett & Lobb and architects HOK are currently exploring the potential benefits of golf in a ski resort setting in the mountains of Adjara, Georgia.
Of course, the kind of topography that suits skiing is not always ideal for golf. Close examination of the landscape is required, to ensure that suitable land for golf exists without unacceptable disturbance to the landscape. Often, as most ski resorts and hotels are located on the lower slopes, the potential for a golf course could be accomodated.
According to Thomson Perrett & Lobb, the golf infrastructure has added benefit of lending itself to multi-tasking a golf course by summer and the following by winter:
- cross country skiing on the course
- skating on the water hazards
- using the water hazards as snow making reservoirs
- using the water hazards to capture spring run-off for later use as golf course irrigation
Golf can therefore become a valuable component within a wider master plan, helping to make a ski resort a year round destination.
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