Arosa, the mountain town whose main industry in tourism, is preparing for what it says is one of Europe’s biggest gay and lesbian winter events in Europe.
The annual Arosa Gay Skiweek is geared to attract a special breed of tourist interested in combining days on the slopes with a packed programme of partying and socializing.
The event, set for January 6th to 13th, includes a welcome party, dinners for singles, a classical music concert, sled races and a Drag Queen Race slalom competition.
Other activities range from a “Fondue Chinoise friendship dinner” to a “splash pool party” and the closing “White Snow Ball”.
The resort, located between Davos and St. Moritz, offers gold passes for 200 francs that offer entry to all the après-ski parties and events for the week.
Silver passes are also available for the January 10th-12th weekend.
PHOTO GALLERY: Arosa gay ski week in pictures
The event, now heading into its 9th year, has expanded its interests to include lesbians after focusing primarily on gay men.
It is “an international event, where you have the opportunity to meet gays and lesbians who want to share the fun of winter sports and the beauty of a charming mountain resort,” according to the official programme.
“It is true that in the last years we didn’t have many lesbians joining us, but we hope that in the future, a growing number of women will join, ready to ski, mix and party with us.”
The tourist office provides a list of ten “gay-friendly” hotels all offering various packages.
A brochure from Switzerland Tourism on gay and lesbian travel in Switzerland describes Arosa’s night life as “famously full-on”.
It mentions Nuts, one of the longest-running clubs in the town, as the top place to go with no age limits and an “atmosphere that suits everybody”.
This all seems rather remote from the time when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes series, strapped on a pair of Norwegian skis and schussed down to Arosa from Davos at the end of the 19th century.
The story of his ski adventure, published in 1894, is credited with attracting British skiers to Switzerland.
More information: Arosa Gay Skiweek