Lebanon ski resorts need snow
While the US and Europe shivers, Lebanese ski resorts are facing unusually warm conditions and have no snow. The diversity of Lebanon often surprises observers, but Lebanon has usually well-occupied ski resorts sitting at 8,000 feet elevation. Lebanon also has a flourishing wine industry, an active gay community that acts as a magnet travel destination for those in the know, and Beirut pre-troubles was the party town of choice for many Europeans. Of course, such a vibrant and diverse country is often so poorly represented and in only one dimension in the Western mainstream press. We will keep our fingers crossed for some snow for them and better luck in the nation’s future.
While much of the United States and Europe is fighting subzero temperatures, Lebanon is praying for snow as unusually warm weather puts a dampener on the country's lucrative ski season.
“So many clients cancelled their reservations for the month of January,” said Walid Kanaan, who runs the luxurious InterContinental Mountain Resort and Spa at Mzaar, nestled in the mountain town of Faraya, northeast of Beirut.
“The lack of snow has forced clients to postpone their bookings until February or March, and truth be told, I understand their disappointment,” Kanaan told AFP.
” I have lost tens of thousands of dollars and altogether shops in the area must have lost some $20 million “
Skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing and snowmobiling are fashionable in the winter months in Faraya, which is located 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) above sea level.
But the only activities in the town so far this year have been the roasting of chestnuts and corn by street vendors, hiding from the sun under umbrellas as they wait in vain for customers.
“I have lost tens of thousands of dollars and altogether shops in the area must have lost some $20 million ,” said the owner of a Faraya ski rental shop, who asked not to be named.
“Thirty years of experience have taught us that half our seasonal sales happen between December 20th and January 5th, so that's 40 percent of our season gone up in smoke,” he added.