Some of the supporting statements submitted for the dry ski slope are such baloney you'll be picking yourself off the floor after reading them. I was starting to think maybe some of comments were a put-up, but now I think they might actually be satire!
As owners and operators of key landmark businesses and tourism / leisure sites around the UK, we at Heritage Great Britain are fully aware that year round, high quality experiences for the visitor are crucial if such destinations are to be sustainable.... and not just for the businesses themselves but for the destination, the region and all that live and work there.
Without such year round activity and facilities such destinations and operations are just not viable anymore as the days of low and high season, with the costs now incurred by tourism and leisure companies, are long gone . Hence Cairngorm must have year round operations AND be able to operate in when the snow DOESNT fall. It must be weather independent and sustainable.
So this application and decision is a critical one for the entire destination and region. It must be supported.
I'm 100% sure that this enhancement will also be of the highest quality and be a great asset to the mountain and those that work there.
The greatest concern is that the directors of CML actually believe the above which is echoed in the official Natural Retreats supporting statement.
None of the directors are resident in Scotland let alone resident locally to actually gain the knowledge, experience and understanding of the mountain required. For if they were they would realise that far from being the savour of CML the financial burden this slope - financed by loan capital, in this location and of this scale, will against the income it will generate be a weighty burden ever tightening the noose around CML's neck.
There will be plenty of days with SW winds when conditions will be less severe in the Ptarmigan Bowl than on the Windy Ridge. There will be plenty of days it will difficult for an adult to stand up on this slope, let alone teach small children.
Depending on material the slope could well end up being out of use for large parts of the winter season, while in summer the evidence from the other four areas is the demand will be a very round number. A big fat zero is the number of ski lessons last summer on the dryslopes at Nevis Range and Glencoe, while the previously installed slopes at the Lecht and Glenshee have long since been lifted.
The supporting documentation from CML implies the business case for the slope is arrived at on the basis that all beginner lessons on CairnGorm Mountain will be on the dry slope rather than snow in the Ptarmigan Bowl and that this will improve the ski experience for more advanced riders by removing beginners from the Top Basin!
A more modest slope of a suitable material at a lower elevation on or near CairnGorm, on a carefully chosen site to minimise exposure / visual impact and not reliant on road access to Coire Cas could be viable with much lower construction cost, laid out to ensure it's suitability for tubing. As an activity that people can just come up and do, requires no coaching or skill, a tubing slope will get plenty of use as per the experience at Glencoe, but ski instructors expecting a summer windfall are going to be disappointed.
Edited 1 times. Last edit at 09.44hrs Wed 25 Apr 18 by alan.