Incentive travel is a fantastic way to achieve business goals, increase team bonding and cement company loyalty – just take a look at our reasons why. And is there anywhere better to let your hair down and forget about the office (temporarily, of course) than a team ski trip? With our dedicated team of corporate travel experts, designing your bespoke snowy getaway couldn’t be easier, with a range of options close to home and further afield. Got members of your party who don’t jump at the chance to snuggle into a snowsuit and buckle into a set of skis? “Skiing may be subjective, but if you don’t want to ski, there are a huge number of options from husky sledging to partying from the afternoon into the early morning," says James Kenyon, head of business sales.
Here at Winged Boots, we’ve seen a huge rise in the popularity of incentive skiing bookings, and with last-minute bookings hard to accommodate, we suggest you start planning your group getaway now. But with nearly 6000 ski resorts in the world, where is best to meet your party’s needs? We give you our top four destinations, guaranteed to please the most eager skiers to the ones who just want dramatic landscapes and heavy nights…
St. Anton may be an upcoming après-ski destination to us mere mortals, but the premier resort has actually been firmly placed on the map as the ski world’s party hotspot as far back as the 60’s! Mooserwirt is the bar every après ski-enthusiast has heard of, with the sight of a couple hundred people knocking back the Jager bombs singing “Heeeeey, hey baby!” greeting you from the bottom of the run. The resident DJ of 26 years and self-declared ‘King of Après-Ski’, 68-year-old DJ Gerhad will start his set at 3.30pm, kickstarting an afternoon session of skiing legend.
Krazy Kanguruh is another one to add to your party bucket list with scores of young Swedish and Australians providing a hippie vibe with delicious food before you sip some beer and hit the terrace dancefloor in your freshly-snowy ski boots. The options for living it up go on and on, with the number of people hitting St. Anton for the renowned party scene on the rise: “This is the in-place for 2019, with some of the world’s biggest names flying in to make one hell of a party," said James.
The ski isn’t too bad either: 306km of marked runs and the biggest connected ski area in Austria make skiing for all abilities a breeze with the sheer number of options available. If you’re bringing along some self-declared semi-pro skiers, there’s plenty of challenging off-piste terrain with a highly efficient lift system to get you from slope to chalet as quickly as possible.
Now this is one resort that you probably haven’t heard of, but one that Winged Boots can personally recommend. James travelled to this hotspot of sport and culture, sitting innocently on the California-Nevada border where two worlds collide. Standing on the top of the piste, look one way and you see desert spanning as far as the eye can see and look the other to be greeted with mountain views for miles. The journey time may be more of a commitment than European resorts, but as James said: “If you want a Vegas-style experience, this is the one for you.” The relaxed gambling laws of Nevada produce a casino magnet on their side of the border, where nightlife adventure can get underway in places like Montbleu Resort, Casino and Spa, where its nightclub hosts exclusive poker rooms and guarantees a ‘habitat for everything wild’. Or party until the sun comes up then keep on going with Harrah’s vibrant 24-hour casino.
The terrain varies at Heavenly, with 97 trails ranging from wide open runs to plunging 1,600-foot chutes. More advanced skiers can push their limits with the expert areas of Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon, along with heaps of intense backcountry terrain. The unforgettable landscape around you is the gift that keeps on giving with the thick blanket of soft snow melting away in Summer to reveal Lake Tahoe’s twinkling sapphire waters fringed with sunbathers cooking BBQs, knocking back a few IPAs. Heavenly is also an option in April, with the ski season still firmly in swing, while European resorts offer much more ideal conditions in December through to March.
Our expertise, worldwide connections, and the way we do things with a relentless drive means whatever your travels needs are, we can make it happen for you whenever, however, wherever and every time.
With one of the largest linked ski areas in the world and more than 600km of pistes, Méribel does not disappoint when it comes to distance and reach. If your party has beginner skiers busting at the seams to try out a new skill the gentle green slopes at Altiport make a great starting point, while the more experienced can enjoy the red Combe Vallon piste from the towering 2,952m tall gondola. The après scene is just as lively with La Folie Douche the overwhelmingly-popular bar attracting young crowds all day long. Later, once your beer goggles are requesting a change of scenery, you can head to Jack’s Bar for stand-up comedy, live music and plenty of drinks promotions – we’ve got your back.
Not all members of the team fans of skiing? We guessed so - with Méribel’s offerings you’ll be spoilt for choice. Snowshoeing, horse-sleigh tours and snowmobiling are great alternate options with the Olympic Centre housing an indoor swimming pool, water slide, fitness centre, climbing wall, spa and indoor ice rink. No-one can complain that they’re bored here. With its central position within France’s huge Trois Vallées ski area, Méribel’s variety of activities really show why people keep returning for 80 years.
Infamous for being a tax haven, Andorra has long been known as the place for a skiing getaway to stretch the pounds. The Grandvalira resort is a skier’s dream with snow-sure lofty peaks including Pas de la Casa and Soldeu, and six different areas, all with their own USP’s to pull you in, whilst sharing the same vast 130-mile ski, which is accessed with a single lift pass. With some of the most affordable ski packages in Europe, Andorra goes the extra mile and offers activities like dog-sledding through the icy forests and tubing – sliding down slopes in a tube – for the thrill-seekers out there. Those extra pounds saved can be splashed out in the bustling après-ski scene where you can party hard in Pas de la Casa or chill out in a hammock on the terrace of a bar in El Tarter, a glass of red wine in hand. Take a look at our other top tips for a European ski break.
Speeding through the mountains, the sun beating down on the falling snowflakes, powder kicking up at your skis with the sight of that pumping bar in the distance getting closer – is there any experience that quite lives up to skiing?
Here at WB, we think a snowy getaway makes for the perfect incentive and our personal travel managers are experts at designing your trip to make it bespoke for your party’s wants and needs. Enquire here or call 0203 816 0985 to start planning a trip full of rewards, whether it be leisure or pleasure… or both!
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