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Ski Weekender Closes its Alpine Base for Next Winter

UK Shortbreak Specialist is closing its main base in France, but it will act as an agent selling hotel rooms in its resorts. Other operators are under pressure and are considering their plans for next winter as the pandemic spreads and restrictions are tightened.

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The company has been operating for 17-years and its main hotel, The Aravis Lodge, can accommodate more than 40 guests.

It gives access to the skiing in La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand.

Ski Weekender also offer hotels in Les Contamines, Saint Gervais and Samoens.

It is not an unexpected announcement as Covid- 19 surges in the Alps, more restrictions are coming into force in resorts and limitations on travel continue.

“We had predicted that the winter would see a resurgence of the virus and that restrictions were likely in both UK and France,” said Ski Weekender as it made the announcement.

“We remain optimistic that the French resorts will be able to open for skiing, but less so that you will be able to travel out to enjoy them without significant risk of travel disruption or restrictions.

“This has meant some hard decisions, none more so than deciding that we will be unable to operate the Aravis Lodge this winter.”

Aravis Lodge, Ski Weekender

Aravis Lodge, Ski Weekender

Aravis Lodge, Ski Weekender

Aravis Lodge, Ski Weekender

“We have always known that this coming ski season will be very much reduced, and that it’s not going to be easy to travel from the UK to France, if indeed it’s actually possible at all,” Ski Weekender added.

This coming winter is already proving extremely difficult to plan for with operators needing to weigh up the cost of running an operation, against the likely number of clients they will have.

The waters are muddied further as the transition period for the UK leaving the EU ends on  December 31st with still no agreement.

The decision of Ski Weekender follows the news of Crystal Ski Holidays axing its entire catered chalet programme:

Crystal Axes Entire Chalet Programme

Hotelplan UK – that runs Inghams, Ski Total, Esprit and Flexiski, Inghams – has cancelled its whole programme for December:

Four UK operators Cancel all Ski Holidays in December

In the Aosta Valley in Italy the company Interski is not operating this winter, but planning for a full service in the season of 2021/22:

Interski Cancels Operations for this Winter

Ski Weekender

Ski Weekender

Ski Weekender has a small, but very loyal following.

For a series of reports on Ski Weekender and its resorts see this rolling blog as PlanetSKI spent a few days with them in 2018.

Le Grand Bornand near Annecy.

La Clusaz on Day 2.

On Day 3 it was round to St Gervais:

And and the final day, Cote 2000:

People who have booked with Ski Weekender for next season will be offered a full refund or the option of transferring to a partner hotel.

Here at PlanetSKI we are just compiling a full report on what next winter currently looks like and have been taking soundings across the Alps, hearing from the UK operators and seeing what options people may have.

Do check back later.

And remember this message for Ski Weekender as it announced a very different season.

“We will ski again, and despite so much uncertainty in the world – we can be sure that stunning mountains, fresh fluffy snow and clear blue skies will be part of the Alps forever.”

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