This Austrian Ski Resort Is Preparing For A Snowless Future
St. Corona is a model for ski resorts in the Alps that are transitioning to mountain biking, hiking and other tourist offerings that don’t depend on snow.
In this village at the foot of the easternmost reaches of the Alps, a ski town for four decades, the climate catastrophe became evident in December 2015. Villagers would usually be wearing puffy coats and knitted hats. Instead, a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit forced them into cargo pants.
“I was sweating, in every sense,” said Karl Morgenbesser, a former ski instructor. At 34, he had just taken over as general manager of St. Corona’s once-bustling ski resort. A warming climate, however, was rendering skiing unappealing to investors. Public subsidies for the resort, which is owned by a development arm of the regional government, had already been cut off.
If cold winters were disappearing, Morgenbesser thought, why not pivot to summer?