Posted by Najib
Picture taken from NowLebanon
I just finished reading an article on NowLebanon stating that “higher ski ticket prices may keep the slopes in Lebanon quieter this season” and that the ski season so far has been “marred by pricier pistes”.
I honestly have to disagree with both statements for the following reasons:
1- I’ve been to Faraya for the past 3 weekends now and one time during a week day and I can easily say it’s the best season we’ve had in years. Even when the slopes were not open yet, people were there to enjoy the snow and the great weather.
2- Ski ticket prices are relatively cheap and very affordable when compared to resorts abroad (Based on what some friends who fly to Europe to ski tell me). Paying 47$ on a weekend to ski on very well-maintained slopes like the Faraya-Mzaar ones or 40$ for a full weekend day at the Cedars are very reasonable prices. The 63$ fee to access the additional “Refuge” slope is usually paid by professionals/good skiers to enjoy tougher slopes and avoid the overcrowded easy slopes and I highly doubt that they’d be complaining about any price hikes.
3- Mzaar is no longer the same it was 5-10 years ago as chalet prices have skyrocketed in the past few years. When you have a 5-star Intercontinental hotel and chalets and villas worthy tens of millions of dollars, and when it costs on average between 1000 and 1500$ to rent a 50m2 chalet in Mzaar just for New Year’s eve only, one can anticipate an increase in ticket prices at the Mzaar slope. However, other slopes have maintained low prices and are very decent ski destinations. I am talking about the Cedars (Which I prefer to Mzaar honestly), Laqlouq, Qanat Bekish, Zaarour and Faqra.
4- Political instability has kept tourists away from Lebanon all year long but from what I know, a small number of Arab tourists, which form the overwhelming majority of tourists to Lebanon, come during the winter to ski. Most of them just go up to enjoy the snow.
Ski has always been an expensive sport in Lebanon and if my memory doesn’t fail me, its prices dropped at some point during the past 15 years in order to give more people access to this sport. However, taking into consideration the inflation of prices in Lebanon for the past 2-3 years, whereas a movie ticket costs 10$ and a dinner on average between 20 and 30$, Skiing is very cheap and hopefully will only be marred by a bad weather.
If you wish to plan a ski trip anytime soon, check out Skileb’s website [Here].