Sunkid constructs Tubing and Adventure Park in Gressoney Saint-Jean
Located in the Italian region of Aosta, the Gressoney Saint-Jean ski area lies just a stone’s throw from the Swiss border and forms part of the major Monterosa ski region which offers a total of 150 km of pistes and 37 lifts.
This winter saw the SAGIT lift company in Gressoney decide to install the area’s very first tubing and adventure park, available to guests of all ages. An area totalling approximately 10,000m² was divided into two zones: on the left side were constructed 3 snow tubing courses with banked corners and a run-off area while; on the right side, a variety of attractions including the Oskar & Rossi Run, Wild Animal Run, Biff Paff Adventure Run as well as a Sunkid Rotondo ski and tubing carousel are on offer to skiers and snowboarders.
Two 120m Sunkid Wonder Carpet conveyors have been installed next to each other, ensuring that guests using the facilities are transported swiftly and safely back up to the top. Each conveyor has a theoretical maximum transport capacity of 1,400 guests per hour meaning that the installation can transport 2,800 persons per hour back up to the top of the hill. Anyone who may have doubted the necessity of such a large transport capacity needed only to be there on the first few days after the area’s opening to be convinced!
Within days of its opening on 6th December 2005, coinciding with the Italian “St Ambrogio” bank holiday, Sunkid’s tubing and adventure park quickly became the ski area’s main attraction, drawing large numbers of visitors. However, it was the opening of the snow-tubing runs on Boxing Day that really exceeded all expectations. From the 27th December onwards the snow park was also open in the evenings and between then and mid-January the area averaged 300 – 400 guests daily, with busy days seeing as many as 500 guests flocking to the adventure area.
Admission to the area costs €5 per person and allows the guest unlimited use of all the park’s facilities. Thanks to the large numbers of guests visiting the park, the cost of the facilities’ installation and maintenance are quickly cancelled out by the park’s income.
Indeed what is even more surprising is that the advertising for the new tubing and adventure park comprised nothing more than some posters in the surrounding area and a mention in the ‘What’s New’ section of the Monterosa ski area information pamphlet. However, the enthusiastic eye-witness reports of guests who had visited the park soon started to circulate and reporters from local papers started to show an interest in the new park.
The new attraction quickly developed into a tourist magnet, drawing guests from the surrounding regions and at the same time acting as a catalyst for a boom in other services in the area such as restaurants, hotels, bars and shops.
Mr Celle from the Gressony SAGIT lift company comments:
Our new tubing and adventure park fulfilled and even exceeded all of our expectations within days of its opening. Our decision to use Sunkid was not taken for short-term financial reasons - after all, we received several lower quotes for the installation of the facilities. Instead, our decision was chiefly motivated by the exceptionally high quality of the facilities as well as their excellent safety standards. In hindsight, our decision to opt for Sunkid has proven entirely correct. Looking to the future, we are planning not only on extending the park for the next winter season but also on using the facilities in the summer months.