DJs and bubbles at high altitude, this is how the refuges attract younger skiers

3 min read

Music, dancers and DJ sets, more refined cuisine, drinks and bubbles. An opportunity to say goodbye to the energetic bombardino replaced by prosecco and champagne. It is the formula that is changing the way of spending a day on skis that refuge managers are working on. Partly to improve takings but also to gain greater visibility on social media and to attract a segment of customers between 20 and 40 years old who can spend without major problems.

«This year we are focusing on hospitality with a team of eight artists, singers and dancers who will entertain the public every day at lunchtime. There will also be internationally renowned DJs – says Valentina Rocca who manages the Camanel di Planon refuge in Mottolino, Livigno where the new ski season opens tomorrow -. In food we focus on the panoramic restaurant, the pasta house and the food corner with top quality ingredients.” Then there is the part of pure fun, entertainment and in the past season over 450 hours of shows were held at Camanel, 600 hours of DJ sets with 27 guest artists. Fun and shows accompanied by lots of bubbles, prosecco and champagne first and foremost. «The refuge has been offering entertainment for almost 20 years, with the very first bombardino parties while now everything ends up on social media» recalls Valentina Rocca.

Race to order bottles of Don Perignon at Aquarela cool mountain in Madesimo. «There is a clientele between 20 and 35 years old with crazy spending power – says Roberto Giovannoni, manager of the restaurant in Alpe Groppera -. Groups of friends order 300-400 euro bottles of champagne and compete with other groups because it creates an image.” On weekends and during the peak days of the high season, Aquarela has a lineup of events with DJ sets, live music and artists. Added to these moments are the promotional activities of companies that choose to invest in communicating with the refuge’s customers. This year Giovannoni has also invested to enhance the private area, a more private area used for parties and birthdays, equipped with tables and sofas. From a space that accommodates a dozen guests we move on to four stations with braziers placed in the center of the table.

A short distance away is the Ristoro Larici, a large restaurant with a pizzeria and self-service for families near a baby park for skis and bobsleds which organizes aperitifs in the afternoon.

On the border with Trentino is La Baracca, practically in the center of Passo Tonale. It is a modern structure in glass and wood which, starting from 4pm, attracts customers who conceive of the ski week as skiing but also as fun and wine: «Spritz and beer flow freely – says Alessandro Mottinelli, owner of the place – but today customers also ask for higher quality products, such as Franciacorta and champagne, and naturally we have adapted. For this winter we have organized a great opening show on December 8th and then we will continue throughout the season with après ski every day, and especially on Saturdays when we have richer events planned, suitable for a more demanding audience.”

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