Kungsberget: Fun, close and hassle-free– skiing made easy for families and conference goers alike
Text: Linnea Dunne | Photos: Branäsgruppen
With modern accommodation options and everything laid out to suit businesses and families with children alike, Kungsberget is a small and safe ski resort just two hours from Stockholm. Forget endless driving, freezing children and clothes that never dry – Branäsgruppen has thought of everything to make skiing easy.
“Everything’s close. You never have to drive on the resort; all accommodation is close to the pistes, you just have to walk out the door and you can start skiing,” says Mikael Elford, head of sales and marketing at Branäsgruppen, the group that owns and runs Kungsberget. “Moreover, everything’s modern, everything’s easy. There’s Wi-Fi pretty much everywhere, all accommodation has drying cabinets, kiddie beds and highchairs. There should never be any fuss or hassle – everything should just be smooth sailing.”
Kungsberget’s positioning is crystal clear: it is all about skiing the easy, uncomplicated way. Located just two hours from Stockholm, the resort was previously a daytime facility but has been developed to boast modern, comfortable accommodation with around 1,850 beds. There are quality restaurants and plenty of places to warm up and rest. With all slopes meeting in just two locations, calling it handy is an understatement.
“There’s so much that should fit into that idea of spare time these days: golf, running, football training… everyone’s stressed all the time, so why would you spend six hours in a car to go skiing?” Elford says. “You can just spin up after work on a Thursday, do a bit of work on the laptop on the Friday, then ski and relax all weekend. It’s not something you have to spend half a year planning.”
Elford spent his early career in the entertainment industry and eventually moved to Canada. One day he got a call from his former boss, who asked whether he wanted to join the ski industry. “In the past, almost everyone in the field started out as a skiing instructor and moved up from there, which meant that everyone was really into extreme skiing and niche stuff like that. But Branäsgruppen is very much about family entertainment – which is exactly what it is, when you think about it,” he explains. “What it’s meant for us is that we’ve had an injection of new ideas, a chance to avoid simply continuing on the same path. So, for example, we’ve come up with a way of booking your skiing equipment using an app and just collecting it when you arrive, ready to go. We can be a bit creative and come up with new solutions, which is less likely to happen if everyone comes from the same background.”
Top-class facilities, including new Big Air Bag
Kungsberget opened on 30 November and stays open until after Easter, the last day of skiing being 13 April. An additional benefit of how close and handy everything is, Elford suggests, is that you can go skiing no matter how cold it is – because it is always easy to take a break and warm up with a hot drink. Saying that, his favourite time of year for skiing is towards the end of the season, after the mid-term break, called the ‘sports break’ in Sweden. “It’s usually quite warm and very sunny – skiing then is just wonderful.”
Recently, a brand-new eight-chair lift – one of the most effective ski lifts in Sweden – was added to the offering, becoming a huge success. On top of a new supermarket, a new and improved sports shop, and a new lift in the children’s area among last year’s additions, this year also sees the opening of its new Kungslodge, boasting 340 beds. Add the new and exciting Big Air Bag, the perfect place for practising jumps and stunts and having all sorts of trickster fun, and it looks as though Kungsberget is following in the footsteps of its parent group’s main resort, Branäs, which was named the best ski resort for families with kids a whopping ten years in a row.
Among the not-to-miss experiences, Elford lists the Ski Lodge bar – the perfect relaxation spot for parents as well as conference goers, a group that is growing quickly. “It’s handy for companies to come here as we’re so close to both Stockholm and Uppsala – and open until 7pm every day,” he says. “With our conferencing packages including ski passes as well as meeting facilities, they can take a few days, have fun and get the work done in a straight-forward and relaxing environment.”
While handiness and safety are key, that winter wonderland feeling is of course a very important cherry on top. “It’s such a fresh feeling, the air completely crisp, the beauty of all the snow… Everyone’s there to have a good time so no one is irritable – everyone’s helping each other out,” says Elford. “It is a lovely, positive atmosphere.”
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