Photo: Emrik Jansson
Åre, Sweden to spend 16,5 million SEK on mountain biking
Sweden’s biggest year-round resort launches its biggest ever push to become a true world class mountain bike destination.
The world-renowned resort town of Åre, Sweden sets its sights high as the town launches its biggest ever project aimed towards summer tourism worth 16,5 million SEK (1,6 million Euros) over the coming three years. The Åre Destination society has received a grant from the European Regional Development Fund for half that sum, 8,25 million SEK. The remaining funds are contributed by the Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism Society, Skistar, the Åre municipality and the local business community.
– This contribution gives us a fantastic opportunity to make this long-awaited push. Åre already has a strong mountain bike culture, year-round businesses and a leading bike park. Now we are going to sets our goals even higher to become a world class mountain bike destination, says Therese Sjölundh, CEO of Åre Destination.
Åre has a long history with mountain biking that dates back to the early 1990’s. The village arranged its first mountain bike festival as early as 1992 and has since hosted the UCI mountain bike world cup in 1995, the world championships in 1999 and multiple, international mountain bike festivals. Åre was also was one of the first ski resorts in the world to fully commit to mountain biking in the summertime when the Åre Bike Park opened up in 2005. This concentrated bid has been one of the main factors behind Åre’s transformation into a true year-round destination for the tourism sector. Today, Åre is home to one of the biggest bike parks in the world and a unique mountain bike culture that is well-rooted in the local community.
The main part of the added funds will go towards construction of new, sustainable, mountain bike trails and to expand Åre’s offering to suit families, kids and seasoned enthusiasts alike, with the biggest effort being aimed at greatly expanding the existing trails network in Björnen. The funds will also be used to further develop the lift-accessed trails in the Åre Bike Park as well as supporting facilities for visiting riders.
The goal with the project, effective to begin immediately, is to firmly establish Åre as the leading mountain bike destination in Scandinavia and top-5 in Europe by 2025.
This project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund with support by the Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism Society, Skistar, the Åre municipality and the local business community through the Åre Destination society.