In the first half of October last year, Ještěd published a photo of the first artificial snow and information about the new technology that allows snowmaking regardless of the temperature. It was written with admiration that the lack of snow would never threaten the ski season in Liberec. This year, the facility produced the first pile of artificial snow on the same date. But no one is happy about it anymore.
On the contrary, some people, including local opposition councilors, have given the ski resort operator, TMR Ještěd, a hard time. The reason? According to Jindřich Felcman, councilor for the Liberec Open to the People and co-chairman of the Liberec Greens, the current social context is to blame.
TMR Ještěd, which belongs to billionaire Igor Rattay’s Tatry Mountain Resorts group, defends itself by saying that this year is no different from last year when it first started using Snowfactory technology to its full potential. Last year, it launched it on October 6 and used it to produce snow until the season began in the first half of December.
It also doesn’t consider it sensational that it needs electricity to do so. “Just like swimming pools or other sports facilities need electricity to ensure their operation and livelihood, the same situation applies to ski resorts,” said Jakub Hanuš, the ski resort’s director.
He also pointed out that the resort is not entitled to subsidized prices. “The money spent-not only on snowmaking comes purely from our resources and not from state subsidies,” he added.
The news of the first snow on Ještěd caused a big stir on social media. TMR is being called unpleasant names there, with only a much smaller number of people expressing understanding.
This is not the first time the issue of the need for snowmaking has been addressed in the region. Three years ago, some ski resorts in the Jizera Mountains launched a campaign explaining that technical snow is just water and air, with no chemistry. And that the water is not consumed, just changed into a different state and returned to nature. In this way, the ski lifts responded to the opinions of the neighboring Krkonoše Mountains.