Ski resort owners are starting to find that the lower down a mountain your winter oasis is, the more prone it is to the effects of a warming clime. It's still efficient enough for high altitude resorts, such as those found in Switzerland, to generate artificial snow when Mother Nature doesn't meet the demand. But for the rest of the resorts, what's the solution? Ditch the snow and build a massive spa.
Retreats such as the InterContinental Resort (pictured above) are leading the flood of ski resort designs built to survive the warmer months when there's no skiing at all. Designed by architect Matteo Thun and set to open in 2010 in Davos, Switzerland, the InterContinental would act as a hub for anyone looking to hit the slopes, but would also offer amenities you may expect by the beach. Trade in your skis for some swim trunks and your snow for spas. In countries such as Germany where there are multiple lower-altitude resorts, the shift away from a reliance on nature or the inefficient production of artificial snow is crucial.