Posted 11 января 2022,, 06:40

Published 11 января 2022,, 06:40

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Personal experience: how the ski resorts of Sochi profited from the "New Year" tourists

Personal experience: how the ski resorts of Sochi profited from the "New Year" tourists

11 января 2022, 06:40
Фото: Новые Известия
Thousands of tourists, lovers of alpine skiing during the long New Year holidays went to Sochi for skiing. No one had any illusions about price tags equal to those of first-class European resorts. Once a winter you can afford it. But, of course, it's hard to get used to outright rudeness...

Anna Snezhina

“At least 50 ski resorts were opened in Russia in the winter season 2021-2022, but most of them are quite small and focused only on the local public. The main attention, as in the last year, is paid by tourists-skiers to such winter active recreation centers as Krasnaya Polyana, ski resorts of the Elbrus region and other resorts of the North Caucasus. Ski resorts in Sochi take about 70-80% of the total organized tourist flow. They are preferred by alpine skiing enthusiasts who have high demands on the sports infrastructure and the level of service, ”the Association of Tour Operators of Russia reports.

Let's dwell on the service in more detail.

There are three main bases in the Sochi ski cluster. All of them are located side by side, at the same railway station, respectively, they are direct competitors.

During the New Year holidays, the owners of these ski resorts, apparently, decided to squeeze out all of the "hungry tourists".

Such a feeling was formed, at least, from the level of service (provided, as we have already mentioned, for quite a lot of money).

Tariffs for ski passes and equipment rental in Sochi for New Year's holidays jumped by an average of 20-40%. You are morally ready for high tariffs for everything in conditions of closed borders. They are not allowed to travel to France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria - tune in to all the costs in Russia. The cancellation of all "combo-rates" on the New Year's window also did not come as a surprise (combo - a discount for the purchase of a ski pass + equipment rental at the same time or a one-time payment for several days of skiing in a row).

Skiing itself is divided into morning, afternoon and evening periods.

Accordingly, having no choice, before going to the mountains, you call all three bases and choose the best option in terms of price-quality-duration ratio.

"Natural selection", by the way, starts earlier. Fly to Sochi and check into a hotel on New Year's holidays is another "Call of the Jungle", during which you still have to contrive to get to the mountains with at least a part of the remaining salary.

Finally, you are in the mountains. Once a year we got out for skating. For a few evening hours. We did everything to organize a good holiday for ourselves. Pre-phoned the bases (more than once!), Conducted a comparative analysis, made all the calculations, compared rates and even calculated the cost of one hour from the ratio with the total number of hours of skiing.

On the spot, kotovasiya begins - let's call it deep disappointment.

We visited the evening skiing in all three ski resorts in Sochi.

The most promoted of them is Rosa Khutor. There are the most impressive tracks there, there are several black levels, however, on evening skiing, only two blue and one green are available. But the main meanness is that lifts are switched to ultra-slow speed in the evening. If in four hours at Gazprom you manage to make, conventionally, 40 descents with a three-minute ascent, then in the same four hours at Rosa Khutor, God forbid, if you make 10 descents, because the lifts take 10-15 minutes.

The former Gorki Gorod, renamed Krasnaya Polyana, obviously for marketing purposes, upset most of all.

Before leaving, we called the official number of the resort twice. We got to different managers - Tatiana and Diana, which is good, because it helps to "diversify" the information and, as it seemed, brings it closer to the real picture.

So, both managers told by phone the following conditions: "evening ski pass - 1800 rubles, the cost of renting one set of equipment - 1400 rubles." A simple calculation for two gave the amount: 6400 rubles .

- That is, Tatyana, do I understand correctly that ski passes and equipment rental will cost the final 6400 rubles for two?

- Yes, that's right! - Tatiana answers.

- Final, no surcharges?

- Yes that's right! - Tatiana answers.

The two managers also agree on the time of the evening skiing: from 18.00 to 23.00 hours. Both the rates and the duration of skiing differ from competitors for the better. The choice has been made. We arrive at the place.

They make a check for 8,000 rubles instead of 6,400 rubles . A trifle, but unpleasant!

We ask at the checkout where this price comes from, otherwise it was reported by phone. Cashiers, who issue equipment, stand up for each other and give out new prices: equipment rental costs not 1,400, but 1,690 rubles per person, and a ski pass costs not 1,800, as it was said on the phone, but 2,000 rubles for one person.

But even so, the final price tag is 7,380 rubles, not 8,000 rubles, as in the check. What is this allowance? In the course of questioning, we find out - the cashiers seem to have assessed the level of skiing of the clients, and they issued not a standard, but a professional set of "ski-sticks".

They refuse to interrupt the check. The skating is about to start. When you go out once a year, there is no time for a showdown with cashiers.

Having equipped us for the journey, the cashiers, as if casually, inform us: the equipment must be returned no later than 22.30 hours, that is, we must descend from the mountains at 22.00. So an hour of evening skiing magically turns out to be simply eaten. And no one can answer the question - why the ski pass (pass) is valid until 23.00, but customers have to hand over the equipment at 22.30?

In the competitive struggle, neighboring bases - Gazprom and Rosa-Khutor - are beginning to lead sharply, but it is too late to rush about. While you write an application for a refund, return the equipment, change your clothes, get to another resort, draw up a contract and equip yourself there, you will lose another hour, or even more ...

On the rise on the zero lift, out of curiosity, do you again contact the managers by phone in order to at least understand why such misinformation occurs in the first place? The level of service makes you clutch your head:

- You probably called at tariffs before the new year, they have grown!

- No, Tatiana, we called an hour ago, specifically to choose a more suitable option for ourselves.

- Where are you? Go not at our box office, but call us!

- No, Tatiana, we are in your box office: "NAO" Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi, p. Estosadok, nab. Vremena Goda no. 11 ”, - we read from the information board of the rental service.

- Yes, indeed our address, - the girl replies.

A few minutes later calls back:

- You know, yes, indeed, the tariffs were updated just a few minutes ago ...

- Maybe you will offer us to refund the difference in price or some other bonus for this overlay?

- Personally, I (pause) do not want to compensate you for anything! - the operator Tatiana answers in a defiant tone.

- Well, here is your skiing time, Tatyana, it seems, too, was updated just a few minutes ago. It was before 23.00, but the cashiers say that it is necessary to go down at 22.00, otherwise they "all will close and leave." And for the equipment, accordingly, an additional payment will be charged for another day. Five hours of skiing turns into three!

This should not be, says Tatiana, and promises to call the rental service back. At the same time, you have to pull out the cashier and show him the hours of work scribbled in large numbers at the front door and on all information boards. After Tatiana's call, the cashiers moderate their ardor: “Okay, you can check in at 23.00, but not later,” they say.

Gazprom does not repair such frames. If it is said that evening tracks work from 19.00 to 23.00, then all payment from you begins to be accepted at 18.30 hours, and the delivery of inventory is expected until 23.30, until the last client.

In "Rosa Khutor" the system of interaction with visitors in the new year is also no less slippery.

The stated start time for evening skiing is at 18.30. You arrive at the place - in fact, it turns out that the cash desks for sale open only at 18.50. At the same time, according to the official phone number, they continue to insist that the starting time for skiing is at 18.30.

Five windows, one cashier works, so inhuman queues are formed.

And what do you think the cashier says when buying a ski pass?

You can buy a ski pass, of course. But at your own peril and risk, the cashiers in "Rosa-Khutor" answer. Whether the evening runs will open or not will be announced only at 19.00 or later. How much later? At 19.30 or at 20.00 they will inform you if the tracks will open? Silence in response. A huge queue stands and waits for the signal to come from the peak of the mountain. Until 19.00. The last in line pay by 19.30. Plus, time is needed to pay for the rental of equipment and the ascent to the slopes.

In our presence, very annoyed clients tried to return the funds for the visit of the previous day. It turned out that the ski pass and the rental of a ski set for evening skiing were sold to them, but the security service refused to open evening slopes due to weather conditions. Why, one wonders, open sales if skiing was not planned? Not only were people forced to go through the whole hell of bureaucratic multi-day procedures to get money back for non-rendered services, but also, as it became clear from the explanations of the staff, they would be deducted from them for a zero lift to the slopes. "Well, did you go for a ride on the lift ?!" - the cashiers were rude.

By the way, the ski pass itself is also paid: 100-150 rubles. A trifle, but unpleasant! A purely imposed service, like a ski pass on its own, separate from skiing. The same with the lockers for outdoor shoes - they cost plus or minus 400 rubles for a few hours. The service is issued as an option, as if someone has a desire, having put on ski boots, to drag the shoes in which they came over their shoulder.

The clients were completely at a loss. It was to ride on the zero lift with rented skis in their teeth that they apparently came here. With the skating itself was not lucky, and to hell with them. This is the logic of the built sales system.

After this, you climb the mountains like a squeezed lemon, trying to find at least some objective reasons why the service of the country's most popular ski resort on New Year's holidays is set up through one place. Alas, you cannot find other explanations, except for profit, for yourself.

Why are our resorts “no worse, and even better than foreign ones”, but I don’t want to go there anymore ... But because at prices comparable to those in the Alpine resorts, there is no one to dilute your hard-won skiing trip with someone’s championship in rudeness and intrigue no desire.