• Business Business

Ski resort community struggles through mostly snowless winter: 'We've never had a season like this'

What's happening right now at Mount Terminillo is cause for concern for a couple of reasons.

What’s happening right now at Mount Terminillo is cause for concern for a couple of reasons.

Photo Credit: iStock

What's normally a bustling ski resort in central Italy is all but empty relative to normal winters. Ski lifts are switched off, bars and shops are closed, and the ski slopes remain largely snowless, as it's been too warm to make artificial snow.

What's happening?

Mount Terminillo, a popular ski resort near Rome, is having a bad winter, to say the least. 

Vincenzo Regnini, president of the company that runs the local transport and ski-lift facilities, put it best, saying, "A crucial detail is missing for a ski facility: snow."

Not only has the resort received no snow this season, but it's been too warm to make artificial snow. It needs to be near 32 degrees Fahrenheit to produce artificial snow, but the mountain has had temperatures in the 50s lately.

Locals are struggling with a ski season that's hopefully not a peek into the future.

Local resident Domenico Cerza said, "We've never had a season like this, it's tough."

Why is this concerning?

What's happening right now at Mount Terminillo is cause for concern for a couple of reasons — one being a short-term concern, the other a long-term existential concern.

Italy is hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics, which will be difficult without snow. Italy relies on artificial snow machines for roughly 90% of its ski runs, more than any of the surrounding countries. But artificial snow machines count on cold air to freeze the water droplets that get blasted into the sky to make snow, and the air hasn't been freezing.

Unfortunately, what's happening at Mount Terminillo isn't a stand-alone situation. Last year, ski resorts across Europe were forced to at least partially close due to a lack of snow.

What's being done about the situation in Italy?

Fortunately, some recognize the gravity of the situation and are making their voices heard. 

More than 100 people showed up outside the site of the Olympic Village to protest what they were calling "the most unsustainable Games ever." Putting on the games could only make the current problems Italy is facing worse.

The protesters railed against the money being spent, as well as the construction of the infrastructure necessary to host the Games that's resulted in the removal of hundreds of trees, and the production of countless tons of concrete, which contributes huge amounts of pollution to the atmosphere.

For those of us who don't live in Italy, we can follow in the footsteps of those protesters by getting more involved with climate issues. Learning more about what is happening, voting for pro-climate candidates who support environmental issues, and even just talking with our family and friends can enact change. Every little step helps. 

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider