The oldest winter sports resort in Scotland is planning to offer all-year-round skiing with proposal for a dry slope.
The £250,000 project, at Glencoe mountain resort in Lochaber, would not only offer enthusiasts the opportunity to take to the hills when there is no snow, but also on winter days when it is too windy to operate high in the mountain.
Glencoe enjoyed huge amounts of snow last season, recording fresh falls for 73 straight days to the end of February.
But high winds and snow drifts caused the resort a headache, especially when the lifts were buried under several feet of snow.
The resort’s management has now lodged plans with Highland Council for the dry ski slope.
Managing director Andy Meldrum said: “This would enable us to offer skiing all year round. The dry slope would be for all the days when we can’t run the tows further up the hill because it’s too stormy and in the summer we would expect it to be used mainly by children wanting to go tubing.”
The slope would be able to accommodate around 40 to 50 people at a time.
The plans also include a new toilet and shower block for the resort’s camping area, as well as an extension to the cafe and an office building which will house a shop.
It is hoped the development will be completed by October or November. Some of the seasonal jobs at Glencoe may become permanent.
Scotland’s five mountain winter sports areas together recorded a big fall in skiers and boarders last season despite record amounts of snow.,
Strong and persistent winds kept enthusiasts off the slopes which also meant a fall of more than £5m income to the Scottish economy compared to the previous year.
The season resulted in 235,303 skier days, down by more than 55,000 on 2012/13, which generated more than £29m.
Ski Scotland said that using current data, last season was still worth around £23.7m to the Scottish economy.
Of this, only £4.7m was spent at the ski areas themselves, with the remaining £19m spent in local businesses, such as accommodation, places to eat and drink, shops and filling stations.