Lebanon Businessnews News

Ski season opens early
thanks to Storm Norma
Hotels and restaurants

anticipate brisk business

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Ski resorts are open for business after Storm Norma dumped fresh snow, raising hopes for a season that is significantly better than last year’s.

The country’s ski resorts opened their slopes to the public on Dec. 31, and expect to remain open for the next three months.

“We have one meter of snow so far, and this is enough to keep us open for three months,” said Nicole Wakim, Marketing Manager at Mzaar 2000, the company that owns Mzaar Ski Resort.

Some 70,000 skiers visited Mzaar Ski Resort last year over a 53-day season that started mid-January. Its slopes rise from an altitude of 1,950 meters to 2,350 meters.

Zaarour Club, whose ski slopes rise from 1,665 meters to 2,000 meters, was open for 30 days last year. Carol El Murr, CEO of Zaarour Club, expects the ski resort to be open for three months as well, thanks to the winter storm, and says that nearby businesses are already benefitting.

“This activity impacted hotel occupancy rates in the region positively,” El Murr said. Le Grand Chalet at Zaarour has been fully occupied since the ski resort opened, and occupancy rates are expected to average 80 percent through the rest of the season.

Business in nearby Kfardebian is also booming. Intercontinental Mzaar Lebanon Mountain Resort and Spa is fully occupied. “Snow is the white petrol that revives the whole area, including hotels, sport shops, restaurants, and groceries,” Wakim said.

Mzaar Ski Resort, The Cedars, Faqra Club, Laklouk, Qanat Bakish, and Zaarour Club are now open for skiers of all levels.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Jan 10, 2019
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