The French ski resort of Val Thorens is famed for being Europe’s highest ski resort at 2300m, offering ski enthusiasts possibly the most snow-sure slopes in the continent. Thanks to forward thinking Val Thorens, France ski holidays are set to be revolutionised by free-of-charge Wi-Fi technology.
The resort of Val Thorens has now installed Aerohive’s WLAN solution at all of the resorts’ ski lifts enabling visitors to connect to the internet for free. The update replaces a previous Wi-Fi network that was used purely for internal administrative purposes. Available everyday between the hours of 8am to 5pm, the resort reports that the service has seen about one hundred connections a day, each lasting an average of 10 minutes. As well as enabling skiers to stay better connected on the slopes, visitors to the resort can now ski with added peace-of-mind that they won’t have incurred such large phone bills upon returning home from holiday.
According to the resort, over 70% of visitors to Val Thorens are foreigners, a large majority of whom will want to be able to use online features such as email and social networks. Where these skiers and visitors would have once incurred costly 3G roaming charges, they are now able to access the free Wi-Fi service.
It looks as though Val Thorens is not alone in this Wi-Fi movement; the wireless LAN will shortly be broadened to the neighbouring up and coming resort of Orelle. If the service in Val Thorens proves popular it is likely that even more ski resorts will invest in a similar solution. Currently other resorts with a similar service are commonly found across the Atlantic in the ski resorts of North America. Early figures seem to suggest the Val Thorens service is popular, as the connection rate is progressively growing; currently up 30% in January 2012 YoY.
Crystal Ski offer skiing holidays to Val Thorens, other resorts in the three valleys ski area, and other top ski destinations.