Reaction As Ski Lifts Remain Closed In France
21st January 2021
Last modified on May 5th, 2021
It is an economic body blow to the French resorts – the lift companies, the restaurants, the ski schools and all businesses in resorts. Let alone us that want to ski. The French government says it is necessary to save lives and beat Covid-19 and that health issues take priority.
It was widely expected but nevertheless it’s grim news in the ski resorts from a business and economic perspective.
From a health perspective the government has been acting on the advice of its medical experts.
See here for our full news report on the decision with some reaction.
Here we look into more detail reaction from the resorts.
We get first reaction from a UK company.
Sam and Jon Dredge run More Mountain that has 4 catered luxury ski chalets and 38 self catered apartments in the centre of Morzine.
Last week on PlanetSKI we heard about all the changes they had made once they realised the British would not be coming, so they turned their energy and money to attracting the domestic French market.
That market now looks to be severely restricted with the lifts not running.
Sam tells it in her own words:
“It’s a very awkward situation for us but we are hanging in there!
We are VERY sad and VERY disappointed, but not surprised.
The painful waiting game is still on…. with another government review in 3 weeks.
We just need the Government to make a decision and stick with it.
Why make us endure such uncertainty when it is pretty obvious the season cannot start and yet again we tread more water?
The main holiday season is February and this represents the majority of our core weeks to sell.
Even with a French market, people visiting from within France will now want reduced prices because the ski lifts are not open, so we are forced to operate at a loss and take what we can get.
We had placed our very last hopes in making February work.
Now all we can do is think towards 2022 and survive until then.
The knock on effect is enormous – there is a whole infrastructure of shops, bars and restaurants connected together here in Morzine in addition to all the holiday providers like us and the mountain itself.
There is no doubt, this will have an effect on investment, employment and the facilities on offer in our town going forwards beyond this winter season and for years to come.
I feel it for my staff who have come here in hope of a ski season…. and who are now faced with the potential of not being able to do another ski season due to Brexit rules and employment restrictions.
It’s one hurdle after another at the moment.
The only thing that keeps us going is the support on social media from all our wonderful loyal guests… let’s hope 2022 is a bumper of a winter!”
It is a similar picture across Morzine.
“We are really saddened by the news, as the whole resort relies on the core weeks of February,” said Sara Burdon from the resort’s Tourist Office to PlanetSKI.
“We are doing as much as we can to offer a fabulous holiday to the (French) families that want to travel here, with a wide range of non-skiing activities and entertainment on offer.
“However, the results will not be the same, and it is becoming very difficult for many businesses to survive.
“All Morzine’s businesses are pulling together to do what they can to get through this and still be here once you can get out for fun in the snow.”
The resort of Les Menuires in Les3Vallees is putting on and promoting a range of other activities as the lifts will not be running anytime soon.
“No ski lifts in sight so we have prepared a rich program of activities for you to fully enjoy your mountain holidays,” it said.
“Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and ski touring: snow is everywhere and allows you to enjoy nature independently on marked and secure trails or accompanied by a guide.”
The resort is trying to attract families to enjoy the snow and the mountains.
On offer is dog sledding, snow groomer rides, sledging on rails, paragliding, snowmobiles and fatbikes.
From April 12-18 the resort is offering Yogiski and described it as “a week of yoga, hiking, relaxation and meditation, combining positive energy and sharing good vibes.”
We have had some reaction on the PlanetSKI Facebook page to the lifts remaining closed.
Rich Allsopp – Completely the wrong decision. Why cause yet more economic vandalism when cases are low in France and skiing is possible in Switzerland a few km away!
The 112 ski resorts of the Savoie Mont Blanc area are urging people to come to the mountains anyway with hotels open and travel currently allowed.
They too are stressing the other activities on offer.
“To welcome them in the best conditions, the Savoie Mont Blanc resorts will try, as at Christmas and New Year, to compete in imagination to make them discover another side of the Mountain experience” explains Michaël Ruysschaert, Managing Director of The Savoie Mont Blanc Agency.
It is promoting the other activities:
- Ski touring
- Cross country skiing
- Nordic walking
“The emerging success of these activities observed in recent seasons has been confirmed in a very significant way with the current closure of the Alpine areas” claims the organisation’s marketing director, Christelle Ferrière.
She sees it as “a great opportunity to enrich the experiences offered…and a new way of discovering the mountains.”