The future is local

Think of a ski resort that you’ve always wanted to visit, but know absolutely squat about. Now, imagine you’ve just searched that resort for accommodation within your budget, on the dates you have selected and to cater for the numbers within your group. Now you’re faced with a list of places to stay. The photos look great and you can see yourself staying in any one of them. How do you choose?

Now imagine if you could see them all on a map and at the flick of a switch, the map would come to life to show you where the ski lifts are, where the nearest bars, restaurants, ski hire shops, ice rinks, cinemas and every conceivable amenity is located in relation to each property? Now how cool would that be? how easy would it be to spot THE place the stay? Well, we may not have tele-transporting ski lifts (yet!), but this is the future of Ski Lettings.

If you haven’t experienced the pain of searching for that perfect ski property before, let me tell you a story. Last season, I travelled to Morzine with my wife, 1 year old daughter and parents. The first choice that we had to make was ‘Which resort?’ with a young child, it needed to be a short drive from the airport and the airport needed to be serviced by a direct flight from Belfast. After a little research, we decided that Morzine was the place to be.

The next and most challenging task was finding self-catering accommodation that would tick all the boxes. When I was a young single man travelling with mates, the most important factor was price and not being stuck at the end of a 30min bus ride to the lifts. Even if we got it wrong, it didn’t matter too much. Now that I have a young child to consider, it was much more important that I got it right. This time, we were looking for an apartment that needed to be within short walking distance of the ski lift (for my parents knees sake), yet close to a grocery store for emergency nappy and milk supplies as well as be a short walk from the shops and restaurants.

This was our first time in Morzine, so we had absolutely no idea about the town or where anything was. The first step was to figure out where the ski lifts were. From the piste map I could see that there were numerous lifts heading into the mountains and it took some serious Sherlock Holmes investigation to find where those points were on a town map. Eventually, with the help of Google maps and a number of ski websites I was able to determine that there were two main lifts on either side of the town. One would service the Morzine / Les Gets ski area and the other would take us up to the Portes du Soleil area via Avoriaz.

Once we knew where the lifts were, the next job was to figure out where the supermarket and main shopping area was. I eventually found the Carrfour supermarket which was sadly nowhere near the lifts and I discovered what seemed to be the main street with all the shops. After several hours I had become virtually acquainted with the town and I was able to choose an apartment in just the right spot. Although a good 15min walk from the supermarket, we were lucky as we later found a grocery store very close by. Next season, my daughter will be 2 years old, but we have another baby due in November, so the pressure will be on me once again to find the right accommodation.

Thankfully, this year it’s going to be a breeze! Last week I quietly launched the Ski Lettings ‘Local Businesses’ section. An area of the website dedicated to helping local in-resort businesses tell us about themselves, where they are and what they have to offer. What’s more, in the coming months you’ll be able to view all these businesses on the accommodation map! Imagine being able to view a list of available ski accommodation that matches all of your needs and also being able to see it on a map in relation to all of the ski lifts, shops, bars, restaurants, ski hire shops etc. Could choosing the right accommodation get any easier?

What do we need you to do? Well, if you’re planning on going skiing this coming season, just make sure that you come back to Ski Lettings to find that perfect place to stay. If you are a local business in a ski resort, then we want you to register on the website and tell us all about you. We’ve grouped the local business directory into sections for each resort including transfers, bars and restaurants, childcare, ski hire etc. If we’ve missed anything, let me know.

There’s another exciting update coming soon, but I won’t spoil the surprise just yet. Keep an eye on the blog.