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Zermatt named ‘Best Ski Resort’ in Alps – again

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Zermatt named ‘Best Ski Resort’ in Alps – again
Photo: Michael Portmann
08:47 CET+01:00
The Swiss resort of Zermatt has defended its crown to be named Best Ski Resort in the Alps for the second time in a row.

Awarded every two years, the Best Ski Resort prize is based on a survey of 49,000 winter sports fans carried out by Mountain Management Consulting in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Some 54 alpine resorts were surveyed across more than 20 categories including the quality and variety of slopes, safety on the pistes, entertainment, gastronomy and provision for families.

As in the previous edition in 2014, Zermatt came top overall, ahead of Livigno in Italy and Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis in Austria in second and third.

Within individual categories the Valais resort came top for piste quality, atmosphere, comfort and exclusivity. It also rated highly for accommodation and piste safety.

Three other Swiss resorts – Saas-Fee (5), Adelboden-Lenk (7) and the Aletsch Arena (9) – featured in the overall top ten.

According to the study’s director Mike Partel, the biggest challenge for ski resorts at the moment is how to react to the “decreasing loyalty” of skiers, who like to change resorts frequently.

“They are not dissatisfied but want to see and experience [other things], in contrast to previous generations,” said the report, adding that resorts had to find a 'wow factor' to keep people coming back.

With its 360 kilometres of pistes, high altitude skiing, views of the Matterhorn and proximity to Italy, Zermatt has long been a major draw for winter sports fans.

However, all that comes at a price.

The resort was recently named the most expensive in the Alps in another study in Germany.

A six-day adult peak season ski pass for the Zermatt-Aosta region costs 463 francs, compared with an average of 295,50 francs (271,70 euros) in French resorts.

After early snow in the past week many Swiss resorts are preparing to open this weekend.

Verbier confirmed it would open some of its slopes on Friday, with others to follow depending on snow conditions in the coming weeks.

Laax and Crans-Montana are among the others partially opening this weekend.

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