Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a resort great. Things like the sight of a sunrise, the sound of water in an icy stream or 5000 santas coasting down the piste.
For no better reason than the fun of the spectacle and the breaking of world records, the Swiss resort of Verbier have been inviting people to turn up dressed as Santa to celebrate the main opening of the resort for the winter season.
They call it the Saint Nicolas Opening Session Celebration and it’s a lot of fun. This year, Dec 7th 2019, we saw a record breaking 5000+ skiers and snowboarders arrive in full Santa garb to hit the slopes in Verbier.
Verbier’s recent history of the Saint Nicholas Celebrations
The team at Verbier are no stranger to having fun. It was back in 2016 when they started inviting people to turn up as santa for the grand opening. All it took was the lure of a free day lift pass and a free train ticket from Geneva and plenty of people started showing up to take part in the spectacle.
Since 2016 there’s been growth in participation year on year, perhaps Verbier’s excellent train links make that ticket irresistible, perhaps the free day pass is that attractive but we expect that it just looks like too much for fun for people to ignore. When they set a record with 1200 santas in 2016, Verbier decided to make it a tradition and since then the numbers just keep on growing.
If you take a look at our data on santas over time you can see that the forecast is for an unprecedented increase in santas at Verbier in years to come.
Is this alarming increase in santas at altitude another sign of global warming? Maybe..😁
Other resorts arrange these costume events but nobody is doing it like Verbier. It’s a tradition we sincerely hope they continue for years to come.