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Crisis talks today to save 4 Vallees
Sunday August 17, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

The largest ski area in Switzerland has split down the middle after the various lift companies fight over revenue share. A mediator will be trying to bang heads together.

The future of the 4 Vallees will be decided in the next few weeks.

A mediator and senior politician, Jacques Melly, will hold his first meeting on Monday to try to ensure the area does not break up.

At present Verbier has created its own area, Verbier Grand Ski, while the resorts of Veysonnaz, Nendaz and Thyon have Espace Mont Fort.

There is an over-lapping section in the middle including Gentienes and Mont Fort that is shared.

It is expected people will still be able to ski between the two different areas next winter - if they buy an additional pass.

So, the linked area on a single lift pass is presently dead in the water.

If things remain as they are then the area will be split down the middle for the season of 2014/15.

It is Monsieur Melly's difficult task to reach a compromise acceptable to all sides.

His findings are non-binding, but there will be pressure for both sides to accept.

Jacques MellyJacques Melly














Many people, especially locals, believe it is sabre-rattling by both sides and that the break-up of the 4 Vallees is unthinkable.

It is though a distinct possibility, with high stakes, and both sides are becoming entrenched.

See here for the earlier PlanetSKI story as Verbier decided to go it alone and last week we had an exclusive interview with the head of Televerbier, Eric Balet; see here for that story.

Eric Balet was keen to point out the strength of Verbier should the impasse remain.

"The 4 Vallees is like a Champions League side with Verbier providing the best players. If we lose the other ski areas we will be a weakened side, but still able to perform in the League. The others will be no-where," said Eric Balet.

"95% of the good skiing is in the Verbier sector.  Without Verbier the 4 Vallees is dead but Verbier can exist alone."

Here at PlanetSKI we have spoken to the other main player, Jean-Marie Fournier, from Televeysonnaz and we hope to have a full interview with him shortly.

For those with an interest in keeping the 4 Vallees together the importance of today's meeting and the work that follows cannot be over-stated.

Here at PlanetSKI we will keep you posted on developments.

Verbier is a main partner of PlanetSKI and it used to be our base resort in the Alps.

For the spirit of the mountains

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