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Ski centres advance closures amid rush on Lapland

Firms decided to close earlier than planned because the flow of vacationers appeared to be rising.

Laskettelijoita Ylläksellä Kolarissa keskiviikkona 18. maaliskuuta 2020..
Skiers at Ylläs on 18 March, 2020. Image: Aku Häyrynen / Lehtikuva

Major ski centres in Lapland have decided to close their ski centres from Sunday, instead of next Friday as originally planned.

Ski centres in Ylläs, Levi, Luosto, Olos, Pallas and Ounasvaara are said to be shutting down ski lifts on Sunday as news travelled that convoys with cars filled with vacationers were on their way to northern resorts.

"Based on the news, the danger is that our decision has backfired and this week the number of customers would have increased instead of declining. For this reason, we decided on an earlier timetable to close our slopes to fulfill our original goals as responsible businesses," said Pertti Yliniemi of North European Invest and Jouni Palosaari of Levi ski centre. European North Invest operates ski centres at Ylläs and Olos.

Customers who have purchased ski tickets for next week will get full refunds.

"Of course the money will be returned and we apologise for the situation. We believe the decision had to be taken and we bear full responsibility for it. We hope that people will understand the decision," Yliniemi stated.

Lapland hotels shutting down

Lapland Hotels, Lapland Safaris, Lapland Ski Resorts and Ylläs-Ski operator North European Invest had previously announced on Friday that it would close all of its Lapland Hotels properties in Lapland and southern Finland. Now however, the timetable for those closures will also be accelerated.

"The hotels will close when patrons leave them. Some hotels have already done so. Our hotels will close their doors at the latest by the end of next week. We have not taken any further reservations," he added.

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