Gondola area buildings switch to geothermal
lsr gondoli

Gondola area buildings switch to geothermal

Finland's first gondola lift, Gondola2000, was inaugurated on 31.12.1999, marking a new era for Levi Ski Resort with expansions in winter and summer activities. The ISO 14001 certification in 2018 and the geothermal project completion in 2024 moved the resort towards sustainability. These developments have transformed Levi into a year-round destination with energy-efficient infrastructure for visitors and competitors.

Towards an international competition center

At the turn of the millennium, Levi Ski Resort implemented significant investments that ushered in a new era for Levi. The services in the Gondola area expanded significantly, and the development of year-round activities was integrated into the company's strategy.

Finland's first gondola lift, Gondoli2000, was inaugurated just after midnight in 2000. The lift was officially opened by Archbishop Johannes of the Finnish Orthodox Church, known in lay terms as Wilho Reino Rinne. Before this, a snowmaking system and slope lighting, suitable for TV productions, had been installed on the Levi Black slope. To maintain steep slope areas like Levi Black, the company acquired its first winch-equipped slope machine. With clear future visions in mind, a parking area for 500 cars was constructed at the base station of the gondola lift. The first international alpine skiing competition, the European Cup, was held on the Levi Black slope in 2000.

lsr gondoli

Finland's first gondola lift was launched on New Year's Day 2000.

- The Competition and Training Center, better known as the Gondola Restaurant building, completed in 2001, was a significant step in the development of Levi's services. At that time, Rossignol's rental shop operated on the ground floor of the Gondola Restaurant, and our first brand store, Benetton, along with Nordica's premium rental shop, opened on the upper floor. Our third rental shop was located on the Front Slopes. Our goal was to offer customers first-class rental and product services. Over the years, the facilities have undergone changes, says Levi Ski Resort CEO Jouni Palosaari.

Diversifying gondola area services

The summer activities in the Gondola and fell area received a significant boost in 2006 with the expansion of services. Levi opened the Activity Park, featuring Finland's first adventure park, Bike Park, Skate Park, and Nordic Walking Park. Over time, summer activities have been complemented with various other activities and family services.

- This marked the beginning of our summer activities. In 2006, we also opened PoroPark, spanning 170 hectares. The reindeer had their own shelter underground near the top station of Lift 7 and two watering places. Visitors took the Gondoli2000 lift up, fed the reindeer with lichen, and then walked back down. The reindeer returned fat in the fall. PoroPark was closed in 2011, says Palosaari.

levi ski resort seikkailupuisto

Levi's new, giant adventure park was opened on September 25, 2017.

A new Adventure Park was opened in 2017 and integrated into the Gondola Restaurant building. Nowadays, the adventure park starts from the upper floor of the Gondola Restaurant, offering climbing on various levels and sliding on special long ziplines. The return from the adventures is made back to the Gondola Restaurant building. The current caravan area, "Matkaparkki," was opened in the area in 2020.

The summer activities at Activity Park have diversified and been renewed over the years. The yard area of the Gondola Restaurant offers a wide range of family services and activities, such as a summer kiosk, a kota, ball game courts, and a comprehensive frisbee golf park. The Skate Park has also been renewed with concrete.

- All activities on the fell are muscle-powered. The Gondola area serves visitors and top athletes year-round. The Competition and Training Center is now an international World Cup Training Center.

lsr training park

Levi World Cup Training Center provides world-class training conditions for alpine skiing, snowboarding and freestyle skiing.

ISO 14001 certification paved the way for geothermal energy

In 2018, Levi Ski Resort received the ISO 14001 environmental certification, initiating actions to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

- At that time, a study was conducted on the adoption of geothermal energy, its benefits, and maximum capacities. Enhancing energy use was also supported by a plan to utilize waste heat from snowmaking in the gondola building, says Palosaari.

In 2019, a preliminary study was initiated to examine the energy efficiency of the gondola lift building and the Competition and Training Center. These buildings were then served by an approximately 20-year-old oil boiler plant. The study revealed that the snowmaking system's air compressors produce a lot of waste heat during the snowmaking season. It was decided to replace the old oil boilers with heat pumps that utilize this waste heat, improving the buildings' energy efficiency.

During the summer renovation of 2023, more comprehensive break areas for competitors were expanded behind the maintenance building, and the Gondola Restaurant was renovated. In 2024, the geothermal project will be advanced by constructing a large geothermal field with 36 wells. Drilling began in May and is expected to be completed by Midsummer. This complements the energy efficiency of Levi Ski Resort and is the most significant step towards our goal of using sustainable energy sources in all properties.

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