Winter is Here - Ruka is First Ski Resort in Europe to Open Slopes

Oct 19, 2010, 02:00 ET from Ruka, Finland

KUUSAMO, Finland, October 19, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruka ski resort in Finnish Lapland opened the ski season yesterday, 18th October 2010. Ruka has been the first resort in Europe to open its ski slopes for the past 10 years, offering unmatched snow security through the season.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:

http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/prne/rukakeskus/46295/

Ruka is Finland's most popular ski resort, located in Northern Finland, only 30 km from the Russian border. Ruka has 23,000 beds and 400,000 skier days available annually.

9 Months of Snow and almost 250 Skiing Days

Ruka is renowned among the international World Cup Ski Teams as a top early season training location. In November and December National Ski Teams from over 30 countries will visit Ruka to train and compete in World Cup events.

Ruka is also a winter wonderland for families, offering outstanding slopes and dozens of other activities in unspoiled natural surroundings. Oulanka National Park is located just a few kilometres away.

Ruka's summer-skiing slope is normally open until mid-June, after almost 250 days of skiing - only European year-round glaciers can top this length of season.

Unique Ruka Pedestrian Village is Ready

Ruka has undergone several phases of development over the past 60 years in order to become an internationally recognised holiday resort. November 12th marks an important milestone in the history of Ruka, as this is the official opening of the Ruka pedestrian village, envisioned by the renowned Ecosign Mountain Planners of Canada. The Ruka pedestrian village consists of over 1,000 visitor beds in several hotels, 15 restaurants, 10 shops and underground parking for 320 cars.

FIS World Cup starts at Ruka 26th-28th November

Ruka has hosted the FIS World Cup Nordic Opening (Cross Country, Nordic Combined and Ski Jump) for 9 years in a row. This year the FIS Freestyle Mogul Skiing World Cup will also open at Ruka on 12th December. In 2005, Ruka also hosted the Freestyle World Championships.

20 % international customers quota targeted to double

Today 20 % of Ruka's visitors are international, mainly from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Russia. The target is to double the share of international visitors, increasing it to 40 %, by 2020.

Ruka is located only 25 km or 25 minutes (by car) from Kuusamo International Airport. Kuusamo airport is operated daily by Finnair and Blue1 from Helsinki, twice a week by Air Baltic and by charter operations from Brussels, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Links:

- ski.ruka.fi - ski resort pages (http://ski.ruka.fi/frontpage)

- http://www.ruka.fi regional pages (http://www.ruka.fi/winter_eng/)

    - Facts about Ruka (
http://www.ruka.fi/winter_eng/frontpage/?file=content_exec&id=608)

- Ruka Webcams (http://ski.ruka.fi/slopes/?file=webkamerat&submenu=154)

- Ruka opening and closing dates for 10 years ( http://ski.ruka.fi/slopes/?id=382&area=ruka)

- Ruka pedestrian village map (http://ski.ruka.fi/frontpage/?id=248)

- Ruka Nordic Opening official pages (http://www.nordicopening.com/en/)

SOURCE Ruka, Finland