Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners Ltd.

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Ruka, Finland

The Ruka Ski Center, Finland's largest ski resort, is located 800 km north of Helsinki. As an established destination resort, it can offer its guests a wide variety of year round activities. With the downhill skiing season extending up to 200 days, the resort also offers a mixture of cross country skiing, dog sledding, ice skating and snowmobile safaris. The trail network servicing all these different activities was a specific concern in the circulation planning for the base area as well as the mountain planning.

Expansion of the mountain's downhill facilities, but mostly of the bed base and guest facilities, was the focus for Ecosign's 2002 Master Plan for Ruka. A development capacity analysis for the lands at the base of the ski slopes was completed to find the optimum location of the base area development zones. Two high-density development areas were proposed, each with their own village concept, as well as a day skier base. Ecosign then prepared a detailed Village Master Plan for the Lansi-Ruka village base and assisted Kuusamo town and the ski area operator in adopting a strategy to facilate development. After several years of planning and construction, the main portions of the pedestrian village at Lansi-Ruka were completed in 2010. RukaVillage now offers more than 1,000 visitor beds, 15 restaurants, 10 shops and 360 parking spaces in a compact pedestrian village at the base of the slopes, in accordance with Ecosign's Village Master Plan. The new village is proving very popular and skier visits at Ruka Ski Center have grown from 274,000 in 1999/2000 to 360,000 in 2012/13.

Ecosign has now embarked on a new planning effort for the second village base at Ita Ruka. Our scope of work includes an expansion of the existing beginner ski terrain at Ita Ruka and a detailed design for new accommodation and other tourist facilities in Ruka's second pedestrian resort village.

Ruka Village - Unique Pedestrian Village