A new valuation method for ski areas!

The length of pistes has always served both ski areas and snow sports enthusiasts as a benchmark for the size and variety of different resorts.

In 2013, the International Cable Car Association FIANET as well as the National Cable Car Associations made recommendations on how to determine the lengths of runs.

Since then, however, only a few ski resorts throughout the Alps have adjusted incorrect data, with the exception of Austria. Moreover, the recommendations of the national cable car associations are not consistent. From the customer's point of view, the situation is therefore still unsatisfactory.

Why is it that only a few ski resorts have been able to follow the recommendations and that the consistent measurement method has not been able to establish itself? Only by understanding this it is possible to develop an approach for measuring the size of ski areas that has the chance of being widely accepted.

When the topic of piste lengths circulated in the media in 2013, operators justified too high values by referring to a wide variety of other characteristics of their ski areas: particularly wide pistes, the total area covered by the piste, a large number of secured off-piste routes and much more.

The reason for this was the desire for a unit measuring the value of a ski area.

From the operators' point of view, the lengths of runs often did not reflect a real length but a perceived "value" of a ski area, which also included aspects other than the real kilometres of slopes. After all, the communicated value should also serve to achieve a respective price - the correlation between lengths of runs and ticket price is well known.

Nevertheless, misstated lengths of runs are misleading. But for many ski resorts a correct indication of this length is one-dimensional. Therefore a new approach is needed to determine the "perceived value" of a ski area, also on the part of the guest, in an interbranch standardised way!

With the valuation of ski areas developed by Montenius Consult, this perceived value is converted into a measurable value, based on empirically proven methods. This finally provides skiers with a consistent, independently determined benchmark that not only allows them to compare objective data from different ski resorts but also to compare their prices, because the value determines the price.

At the same time, the Montenius ski area valuation takes into account the legitimate interests of the operators to include as many aspects as possible that define the value of a ski area.


The size of a ski area is mainly determined by the total length of runs being offered and undisputedly, the longer the better. The size of the ski area and the variety of slopes are also very important for day guests, according to a study by the Austrian Cable Car Association. But how do you measure the size in a way that the results reflect the subjective perception?

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Providing comfort costs money - this applies to comfort when going uphill (by lift) as well as comfort when skiing downhill on the piste. A ten-seater gondola with heated seats costs much more than a button lift of the same length. On the way from the top to the bottom, the space on the slopes and the quality of the snow determine whether the guest is feeling comfortable or not. Therefore, comfort must be taken into account when determining the value of a ski area.

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Snow reliability

„No snow, no show“ - This sentence has the status of a principal in the industry. But from the customers' point of view, what does snow reliability actually mean? It is a fact: In modern ski areas, natural snow conditions hardly play a role for providing snow-covered pistes thanks to technical snow-making. For this reason, analyses of snowfall and the number of days of snow cover are not as relevant anymore.

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To describe the size of ski areas there is the new standard called Skimiles.

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The Labels

You want to use the results of the ski area valuation for your marketing activities? This is how it works...

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Best in comfort

Which ski areas offer their guests the most comfort when it comes to lifts and slopes? It's not always the big ones!

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Snow guaranteed!

We have developed the snow flake system to measure snow reliability. Here are the most reliable ski areas in terms of snow.

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Decide which criteria are to be included in the valuation of ski areas and to what extent.

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The Report

The list of the worldʼs 100 largest ski areas includes figures beyond the rating - a must-read for insiders.

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