by: Alberto Constain - 17th July 2011

  • 1
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced/Expert
  • 1All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 1Family Friendly
  • 4Aprés Ski
  • 1Terrain Park
  • Overall Value
Beatiful little town
Bad resort management

Full review

In my recent trip to Chapelco, I found the ski resort to be poorly run. Its management was misleading, even dishonest, when it came to describing the amount of snow and conditions at the mountain. I decided to go to Chapelco to ski with my family (after visiting its website daily from June 29th to July 1st to check the amount of snow available, as it was the early season). The website spoke of a "GRAND OPENING" and posted pictures of a mountain full of snow, and only in much finer print did it mention that only 2 lifts were open, without being too specific about which runs were open. Once we arrived at the moutain, we immediately noticed that the pictures posted on the website were completely misleading and most likely taken during a previous season, as the amount of snow on the mountain was not even close to what the website showed and described. The mountain had little to no snow at all. You could argue that the website has webcams, and that it has no obligation to post recent pictures. However the webcams are placed in such a way that they don't show the runs with patches of dirt on them. Yes, we were naive to assume that the pictures were recent, but if they wanted to be completely honest with its visitors, they would have put a disclaimer on the pictures stating that they were not recent. They place pictures and state conditions in a way that is misleading. In my opinion it's just false advertising. On our last day (June 6th), management decided to keep the mountain open, even under dangerous conditions, as there was little to no snow left (above freezing temperatures weren't helping), with huge patches of dirt every few feet. When we asked if we could be somehow compensated (eg: a discount on tickets for another season, or just something small...), they bluntly told us their policies don't allow for any re-imbursement or small little token of appreciation (not even a cup of hot chocolate), under any circumstance at all. My opinion is that management's only goal is to have people go and pay, without any regard for their possible disapointment later, or even safety. I heard from locals that the mountain is run by an Asian group that couldn't care less about good service or customer satisfaction / loyalty. Locals are extremely nice and warm, and they are supposedly very upset with the resort's management (apparently I'm not the only unhappy customer). San Martin de los Andes is beautiful and I would love to come back. However, needless to say, I won't be going back to Cerro Chapelco to ski.
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