Winter tourism has been practiced in the village of Sirkka since the 1930s. Levin Hissit Oy was founded in 1976. Today, Oy Levi Ski Resort Ltd is Finland's leading ski resort in terms of lift ticket sales.
THE FIRST SKI LIFT IN THE 60s
In the village of Sirkka, winter tourism has been practiced since the 1930s. The first tourists usually arrived in Kittilä by post car, from where guests were transported by horse-drawn carriage to Sirkka village. Guests were accommodated in full board accommodation in the village. At that time, the ski lift was not yet known in the village of Sirkka, so the only way for tourists to get to the fell was to ski there on their own!
Tourists' interest in Levi grew and skiing in Levi actually began in 1964, when the municipality of Kittilä acquired land from Levitunturi and built the so-called gate lift on the north slopes (nowadays Front Slopes). It soon proved to be too small and inefficient, especially during Easter.
Levin Hissit Oy was founded in 1976. In the early days of the company, the skiing season usually lasted from February to May Day. As the enthusiasm for downhill skiing grew, the company's operations also developed very positively. In the spring of 1980, the company already employed six people. In 1983, an 800-meter-long summer sled track was opened and the center was also open during the summer.
In the early 1990s, the company already employed an average of 20 people. The renovation of the slopes and the pace of construction of the lifts continued as before, the rental hall was expanded for a second time and e.g. video surveillance were acquired to the lifts.
In the period 1992-1993, the South and Peak lifts were introduced and the first bus was acquired to handle Levi's local traffic during the wintertime. This service (Ski Bus) is still running - although local traffic is currently handled by two 110-seat buses. The company also took care of the network of cross-country ski tracks and snowmobile routes in the Levi area, which was about 1,000 kilometers of tracks and routes. Levi was chosen as the Ski Resort of the Year for the first time in 1993. The same thing has been repeated three times.
We started the new millennium by celebrating the opening of Finland's first gondola lift. In the spring of 2000, the Ministry of Labor awarded Levin Hissit Oy with the Good Employer Award. At the turn of November-December 2000, the men's European Cup slalom and giant slalom competitions were held in Levi. As a result of the successful arrangements, Levi got a permanent place on the FIS (International Ski Federation) race calendar.
The beginning of the 21st century was a time of strong development for the company, with the aim of bringing Levi on the world map. To achieve this goal, the company has invested almost 8.5 million euros in the Gondola area. This includes the construction of the Gondola2000-lift and a World Cup slope (Levi Black) with all its ancillary services, race lighting to enable television broadcasts, snowmaking facilities, and the construction of a race center that meets international standards.
As a result of the development, Levi became the largest ski resort in Finland during the season 2000-2001. Since then, Levi has been the market leader in Finland, with the exception of two winter seasons.
Levi's international competitions began in 2001, when Levi was able to host the opening competitions of the European Women's Cup. In the autumn of 2002, the opening competitions of the European Men's Cup were held at Levi. One of the brightest goals was achieved when Levi was granted to host the Women’s World Cup in February 2004.
With the internationalization, the company's business name was decided to change from “lift company” to Oy Levi Ski Resort Ltd in 2003.
FULL PACE ALL YEAR ROUND
In March 2006, the Women's World Cup was held again in Levi. In November 2006, we had the honor of starting the slalom season for both women and men. We started the 2007/2008 season with the largest investments in the company's history. We opened a new type of service building on the Front Slopes, Zero Point, as well as the Express gondola lift and the North chairlift, the total investment was over 12 million euros.
The 2014/2015 season brought with it a new large-scale investment with the new ski resort on the South Slopes. We commissioned a 6-seater canopy chair elevator, another covered carpet elevator, and a South Point service building. The value of the investment was approximately EUR 11 million.
In the season 2017/2018, we invested especially in the region's international growth in Central Europe and Asian markets, as well as in digitalization. The biggest investment in 2019 was a new, ultra-modern chairlift - Levi West - on the West Slopes of Levi. The lower station of the Levi West lift will be surrounded by a brand new village, Levi West Point. In the summer of 2020, the Levi West area got more slope area, new lighting on the slopes and a more efficient snowmaking system. New routes were also built to Levi Bike Park during the summer, and the snowmaking capacity of Front Slopes was increased and the amount of storaged snow was increased.
During 2021, significant investments were made in both the snowmaking facilities and a new service hall on the South Slopes were built. The Service Point service hall was taken in use during the season 2021-2022.
For the 2022-2023 season, a major investment was made in the Front Slopes when the slope base was straightened, and a 6-person Glacier Express chairlift replaced the 3-anchor lift. The snow storage process on the Front Slopes was also enhanced, and Finland's "first glacier" was created on the slope using preserved snow. The glacier is formed through the natural freezing of preserved snow over time, creating a natural glacier on the slope.
Levi Ski Resort's latest construction project is the new high-speed six-person chairlift, Levi Six, set to rise in the Northeast Slopes. Construction work will commence in spring 2024, with completion scheduled for the 2024-2025 season. Levi Six will replace the current Taalo anchor lift number 6.
The Levi fell is active all year round. We participate in the development of Levi's summer operations by building various activity parks and offering a wide range of sports activities. We have also been involved in the construction of the Levi Golf Course from the beginning.