The Portillo ski area in Chile.Ski season in Chile, which runs from June through October, is off to a strong start; the country’s Ski Center Association is expecting a 15% increase in its ski tourist income over the 2013 season.

In addition to offering ski conditions to North Americans who can’t wait for the local winter, the destination boasts an increasingly robust winter sports infrastructure, according to Javiera Montes, sub-secretary of tourism.

“In the central region we have ski centers in the Metropolitan, Valparaiso and O´Higgins regions, and further south we have complete facilities in the Biobio, Araucania, Los Lagos, Aysen and Magallanes regions,” he said.

Montes estimates that Chile’s ski centers will receive 900,000 domestic and international visitors during the 2014 season, most of whom will be concentrated in the central region.

So far the ski areas have received plenty of snow, and Ski Association resorts have invested nearly $9.5 million dollars in upgrades to their infrastructure, maintenance and terrain.

Portillo, for example, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year with a menu of activities throughout the season, has spent about $1 million in improvements to its accommodations.

Valle Nevado expanded its terrain in time for the 2014 season, added a new instructional area for children and adults and installed the destination’s first gondola.

El Colorado added a new ski lift in the Olympic Park Valley area this season and expanded its Colorado Chico snow park, while La Parva opened the 350,000-square-foot Alta Parva Snowpark on Tortolas slope and boosted snowmaking by 20%.


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