Skiing Czech Republic-Market Analysis-resort SPINDLERUV MLYN
Spindleruv Mlyn is one of the oldest winter sport resorts in Czech Republic. We can safely say that it is also the most developed winter resort offering variety of attractions for tourists but at the same time attracting investors in the real estate construction. It is more and more obvious to the municipality of Spindleruv Mlyn that massive interest of tourists and investors is slowly bringing this well prospering town to the edge of collapse.
Despite the competitive situation on the market where Czech ski tourists can choose from many foreign locations, Spindleruv Mlyn is still attracting annually thousands and thousands of Czech tourists mainly due to its location of about 1.5 hour drive from Prague and the best variety of products available of all current Czech resorts, all year round.
Spindleruv Mlyn is having currently 1278 inhabitants and in average about 10.000 – 15.000 visitors in winter every day. Number of permanent inhabitants in Spindleruv Mlyn is decreasing annually. Private apartment owners as well as hotel owners are not registered in Spindleruv Mlyn as permanent inhabitants in most of the case. In the interim period between summer and winter seasons you can meet in town mainly workers from Ukraine and very limited number of local inhabitants who are in many cases working in the near by towns but not directly in Spindleruv Mlyn Local schools are struggling with the lowering number of kids year after year Average age of local inhabitant in Spindleruv Mlyn is 68,5 years.
Annual budget for 2006 of Spindleruv Mlyn is CZK 117.977.000. Despite the fact that Spindleruv MLun is hosting in winter over 10.000 tourists and visitors daily and must keep up the infrastructure in good condition to serve all people, town itself is receiving only state support for official 1278 inhabitants. Taxes from the hotels and various enterprises go directly to the state Spindleruv Mlyn is of course making money but the benefit of the recreational tax (on average CZK 8.000.000,-) is not utilized by local people but is fully used for the winter maintenance needed in town.
Over all infrastructure is old and not well renovated Current anchor ski lifts are not bringing enough comfort to the users 3 and 4 seat lifts are not covered in the severe weather conditions by wind shield protectors to comfort the skiers.
Municipality is trying to protect it’s locality against aggressive investors, who are building new properties despite the fact that there is “lock” on any new house constructions. “National Park of Giant Mountains” is preventing the investors from heavily expanding in the new ski slopes establishment and construction.
Spindleruv Mlyn is logical recreational area for not only Czech tourists but also for Polish, German, Dutch and lately also Russian visitors.Interest of foreigners in Spindleruv Mlyn is mainly in winter season City has quite a historical heritage but this is not being promoted nor presented in any way in the city.
Sufficient accommodation capacities with variety of standards from luxurious to basic levels. In general good weather conditions for winter and summer recreational activities. It’s location near by the country capital as well as nearby boarders to Poland and Germa. Best variety of attractions among all mountain resorts in the country. Sufficient number of rental shops for various sport activities. Town itself is cozy and located in relatively small area.
It is the imbalance between the demand and offer in the ski slopes available capacity for skiing and snowboarding. Not sufficient flexibility in pricing structure for offered services to allow and attract the visitors in lower or shoulder season to visit as well as to promote longer stays. Long waiting times for ski lifts, difficulty in parking lots capacity. In general lack of car parking capacity in the resort itself. Insufficient alternative transportation means within the resort and route connectivity of all. This lack of local transportation and it’s bus capacities resulting in traffic jams in difficult weather conditions on the routes in winter. Accommodation capacities are not in majority cases in the walking distance to the ski slopes, ski lifts or ski busses. Totally missing the quiet and not difficult slopes for beginners in the vicinity of the car parking areas. Most of the attractions are overprized compared to the level of comfort which they offer. Resort itself is at the same time trying to attract rich clientele together with the mass tourism. Insufficient and not adequate level of services provided to the local inhabitants which would attract them to live in the town all year around.
Added value for Czech tourists who do not want to travel abroad for their recreation.
All year around capacity for recreation with variety of alternative programs available in town as well as the near by neighborhood. Keep local inhabitants to stay and generate new job opportunities as well as good life standards with all services – refresh so called family pensions with it’s loyal clientele. Develop the surrounding neighborhood by bringing different type of tourist all year round. Optimization of imbalance between ski slopes capacity and uplift capacity, but strictly monitor the growth of accommodation capacities. More effective utilization of current available sport capacities and it’s evenly distribution between all sport activities in all levels of knowledge.
Ongoing building of new private apartments without sufficient infrastructure Overprice the current products and services above the acceptable level of the targeted clientele. Highly congested ski slopes are very high potential and risk for visitors / skiers injuries. Winter season is generating most revenue for the resort but is becoming increasingly overprized for the level of sport and comfort offered. Current customers will not be willing to pay those prices and will look for other Czech resorts with more reasonable pricings. Other mountain resorts are gradually improving their offerings and eventually will take over the clientele.
CONCLUSIONS / SUGGESTIONS
Main need is to specify the vision and strategy of the resort itself:
WHAT DO THEY WANT TO BE AND FOR WHOM??
In the interim period the entrepreneurs from Spindleruv Mlyn should try to minimize the main winter weakness of capacity imbalance in Spindleruv Mlyn and should promote and offer packages for tourist which come in groups or families but only certain percentage of visitors would want/ need to use the ski slopes. For example: For families offer packages where there are different programs for each member. 1 ski pass, 1 pass for the fitness / aerobic courses, baby sitting and or/ alternative activities for children like swimming courses. Packages for seniors alone with programs like introduction to tennis, bowling and other outdoor activities including cross country skiing. Weeks for young generation “over 18” not only for skiing but offering interesting alternative program (paragliding, motor skiering, sledges, squash tournaments, bowling). Organize thematic weeks for females for example with focus on re-qualifications, language courses, yoga & wellness, alternative medicine – all year around to fill the capacity. Week programs for mothers with small kids only and offer attractive activities for small children during the day with the use of capacity of dedicated ski slope for them. Use the high demand capacity on prime slopes for other than real beginners but offer them alternative locations with easy access and transportation. Supported by attractive pass packages. Main ski slopes to be more effectively connected with each other to allow evenly distribution the skiers around the resort. In the program packages offer and promote more cross country skiing capacities with some “build in” pricing advantages. Ski busses to offer detailed information about the actual status of the capacities and demand on each location so that customers can decide and distribute their activities evenly and / or transfer to different one when situation changes. Municipality should strongly control all offered services and accommodation capacities to prevent non concept ional trends with negative impact on all resort activities
Resources : www. Spindleruv Mlyn.cz, Budget of Spindleruv Mlyn, Project “chance for Spindleruv Mlyn”, Articles in magazines Respekt and Dnes.
CITY AND SKI
There are not many places where one can easily combine a ski holiday with a visit to one of the great cities of the world. Paris, London, New York, Rome, Florence, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, St. Petersburg, Hong Kong—they are all a bit too far removed from the ski fields. Even Vienna is too far away from Austria’s mountains to make for a convenient commute. While Hungary is one place where this possibility exists, few people would realistically travel to Hungary specifically for its snow-sports. The Czech Republic, on the other hand, with around 200 ski areas, is a different story.
The landscape of the northern part of the country, the home of the Krkonose or Giant Mountains, is full of ski resorts, although many of them are very small, with less than 200 vertical meters of skiing. One well-known ski area in the region is Pec Pod Snezkou, home of the Czech Republic’s highest mountain, Snezka (1602 m). Unfortunately, the historic side-winding double chair lift that rises to the peak of Snezka accesses no pistes, and skiing is officially prohibited. The actual ski area, a few kilometers away, offers a more limited vertical of 385 meters on the slopes of Javor (1215 m).
During my visit to the Czech Republic, I visited Spindleruv Mlyn, the nation’s largest ski resort, situated only 130 kilometers from Prague. Here, a combination of cheap prices and adequate slopes legitimately attracts homegrown riders as well as enthusiasts from other nearby countries.
Spindleruv Mlyn has 23 lifts and about 25 kilometers of pistes. Two separate ski areas are situated in the mountains around the village, at Medvedin and at Svaty Petr, with Svaty Petr being the larger of the two with 495 vertical meters of skiing and sixteen lifts. The skiing in Spindleruv Mlyn reaches to 1310 meters, barely topping the Hungarian ski areas. Nevertheless, there is usually adequate snow cover well into April.
The terrain is strictly for learning and intermediate cruising, and off-piste skiing is not much to think about in these lowlands where most of the pistes are trails with thick forests along both flanks. Nevertheless, the prices for lodging, skiing, food and drink are low, making Spindleruv Mlyn a decent alternative for families with young children as well as for skiers in the early stages...