The London Ski Festival, formerly the Ski Show, has reported a 24% jump in visitor numbers from last year.
The Show, which has been running for 45 years and was rebranded a 'Festival' this year is the only major show of its kind remaining in the UK and has shrunk from a 10 day event attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Earls Court during its heyday in the pre-internet era of the 1980s, to a much more intimate affair staged over four days at an exhibition centre in Battersea Park now.
The organisers of Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Festival are cagey about the exact number of visitors who do attend the Festival, which this year took place from 25th – 28th October, but the 24% jump in business this year appears to be against many years of gradual decline is being widely welcomed.
Visitors to this year's Festival remarked on the 'buzz' this autumn compared to recent years and this appears to result in a greater emphasis on events, food stands and entertainments and less on the traditional exhibition hall feel. As well, apparently, as simply changing the name from 'Show' to 'Festival'.
"We really saw the 'festivisation' of the event come to life at this year's show, with more content than ever before and so much for children and families to do we were delighted to welcome so many new faces to the festival. We had the busiest Saturday for three years and two nights of après entertainment. We can't wait to get to work on plans for 2019! Watch this space," said Samantha Pearce, the Festival's Head of Marketing.
Opening the Festival this year, British Olympic Bronze Medallist Billy Morgan and Love Island 2018 contestant Laura Crane cut the ribbon. New attractions for 2018 included a vintage Ferris wheel, dog sledding, the Chel-Ski Slope, Snow+ Rock's Climbing Wall, and film screenings from The North Face and Quiksilver.
The addition of the Kids Entertainment area lead by Tootles & Nibs provided children with a range of winter themed games and activities while parents could visit the World's top ski and snowboard brands and resorts to plan out their upcoming ski season.
The return of 'Mount Battersea' saw British Ski and Snowboard athletes launch themselves off the 50 ft. real snow kicker into the air, leaving mouths wide open in awe and crowds cheering for more. The Crystal Ice Rink also made a return and welcomed people of all ages to enjoy a bit of ice skating.
The dates have already been set for next years' Festival which will take place 24th - 27th October 2019 once again at Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park.