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Thursday August 3, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The Scottish ski resort near Fort William says poor winters illustrate the need for more off-snow activities and events.

The chairman of the Nevis Range Development Company, Jim Gunn, says diversification has helped and can continue to help the secure the long term future of the business.

He says hosting the Mountain Bike World Cup, marathons, weddings and other events outside the winter months are examples of what's been done to date.

Mountain Bike World Cup at Nevis RangeMountain Bike World Cup - photo Nevis Range Facebook

His comments come in the Chairman's statement to Companies House accompanying the latest annual accounts for the mountain resort, which have just been released.

They cover the year to 31st October 2016.

Gunn says the ski resort opened for 81 days out of a possible 113 between January and April 2016 and skier numbers were down 9 per cent on the previous year.

Even so, he says, it was "still one of our better winter seasons".

It got much worse after that.

Last winter a snow drought meant the resort was able to open for only 25 to 30 days. This will be reflected in the next annual accounts.

Nevis Range February 2017Snow - a rare sight at Nevis Range this winter














Referring to the 2016 season, Gunn says: "This year's Mountain Bike World Cup was one of the most successful in the history of the event. The weekend was blessed with glorious weather which resulted in record crowds and fantastic competition and the award from the UCI of best event of the year.

Mountain Bike World Cup 2017 at Nevis RangeThe Mountain Bike World Cup returned in 2017 - photo Nevis Range Facebook















"We also hosted a variety of smaller events over the year ranging from bike races to marathons, weddings, film nights, which were also very successful."

Gondola passenger numbers were up 10 per cent in the year.

This was said to be due to a number of factors, including an increase in Chinese and Indian coach trade and more people holidaying in the UK after the EU Referendum result.

The company has also constructed a hydro-electric system to power the gondola and export surplus electricity.

"This is a major step forward for the company and is another example of how diversification can help secure the long term future of the business," Jim Gunn says.

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