Finnish resort plans expansion

25th June 2010, by Chris Gill

Pyhä, Finland

Pyhä, Finland

The small Finnish resort of Pyhä is about to embark on a major investment project that aims to double visitor numbers by 2015 – and to provide Finland with the rare luxury of a fast chair instead of a T-bar.

Phase one of Pyhä‘s master expansion plan is to replace the long bottom-to-top Polar T-bar above the village. The Pyhä Express covered six-pack is due in service for the 2010/11 winter season, only the second of its kind in Finland (the other is in Ruka) – traditionally, most lifts are T-bars. It will take just four minutes to cover the 1000m or so vertical, and serve most of the main slopes.

As well as the lift, a new FIS standard racing piste is to be built, increasing the choice for intermediate skiers – for whom the mountain is best suited. The resort also plans to improve family facilities, extending the dedicated Family blue run and lift. The next stage is expected to be an upgrade and extension to the resort’s one hotel: the Pyhätunturi at mid-mountain.

While Finnish resorts are better known on the UK market for their cross-country and festive trips to Lapland, their downhill areas are gradually seeing more development – particularly in slope-side lodging. Pyhä-Luosto is a long way north ... close to the Arctic Circle and part of a National Park. With only a dozen or so pistes, most visitors combine a trip with other the numerous other winter activities on offer (dog and reindeer sledding, for example). Good for families, and those wishing to escape the crowded slopes in the Alps.

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