The ski resort of Piau-Engaly, in the Hautes-Pyrénées, concluded its season by closing its pistes on Monday 1 April. Performance for the winter season, which runs from 6 December 2023 to 1 April 2024, is showing a positive trend. Continued investment in the Natura Piau project, aimed at upgrading and diversifying the resort’s offer, is proof of the destination’s rising standing. The destination is becoming increasingly popular with Spanish customers, reflecting its growing appeal.

Piau-Engaly : confirmed growth momentum for the “New Generation” resort

Despite further snowfalls in the Pyrenees over the last few days, the resort of Piau-Engaly has decided not to play the long game. It closed its pistes on Monday evening 1 April as planned. The resort has been open without interruption since 6 December 2023, even though “some unusual weather phenomena occurred, with episodes of intense wind that we were not used to here and late snowfalls. However, our teams managed to provide a quality ski product throughout the season,” comments Emilie MOTHES, Managing Director of SEML Piau-Aragnouet, the resort operator.

She is delighted with the excellent performance of the ski business during the period in question, which saw an 8% increase in sales revenue to €5.7 million, accompanied by a 3% increase in visitor numbers. This rise in economic indicators reveals an increase in average spending per customer, reflecting the destination’s move upmarket. This development is the direct result of the modernisation of the heart of the resort, which revealed the new face of Piau-Engaly this winter, characterised by greater modernity and comfort. This transformation has been achieved in part thanks to the involvement of major players in the tourism industry, such as Lagrange and Huttopia, in the management of the hotel establishments.

Piau Engaly ski resort. Photo taken on 01 April 2024. @Facebook station

Making the cross-border nature of Piau-Engaly a powerful asset

At the same time, the occupancy rate for flats marketed locally has risen by 4.7%. Over the period from 6 December 2023 to 31 March 2024, it reached 60% in Piau-Engaly, compared with an average of 46% for the Pyrenees as a whole (source: G2A Consulting). “These figures confirm that our destination attracts more short and long-stay visitors, rather than day-trippers. To satisfy them, we’ve increased our entertainment and events budget by 20%,” explains Emilie MOTHES, who also sees these good results as the very encouraging results of new strategies.

Firstly, in terms of sales, with the intensification of our efforts on the Spanish market, mainly a large part of Aragon as far as Ainsa. Specific products for Spanish customers have been proposed, for families during the Immaculada period and for schoolchildren during the rest of the season. These were supported by advertising campaigns via the Comarca, the Ainsa community of municipalities, reinforcing Piau-Engaly’s cross-border character, which sets it apart from its peers.

Station de Piau Engaly.

“Spanish customers account for 20% of our clientele. Piau-Engaly is an area that offers two atmospheres, those of France and Spain”, says the Director.
This dual culture permeates right through to our teams, 10% of whom are cross-border workers. Piau-Engaly has turned this into a strength, thanks to a supportive HR policy designed to enhance the welcome and on-site services offered to foreign customers.

The redevelopment of the heart of the resort and the diversification of activities continue this summer

The resort, which now claims to be a four-season mountain destination, is engaged in an ongoing modernisation process. Before the end of June, landscaping work in the heart of the resort will be completed. In addition, the finishing work on the new Lagrange residence, located at the foot of the slopes, is nearing completion. This building, comprising 57 flats with a total of 302 beds, will feature a swimming pool and wellness area. Work on the interior is due to start in May, with inauguration scheduled for November 2024.

Piau Engaly ski resort. Photo taken on 01 April 2024. @Facebook station

As part of its strategy to diversify and improve its offering, the resort is continuing to enhance its activities. This summer, an investment of €40,000 will be devoted to optimising the mountain bike trails in the area, underlining its commitment to diversifying the range of leisure activities on offer.