Investments in resorts: a negative year

The sudden drop in budgets devoted to the development of French ski areas in 2020 comes as no surprise to anyone, given the impact caused by the health crisis on this sector of activity. Nevertheless, the extent of it still had to be assessed… This is precisely what the annual survey published by our colleagues from the Montagne Leaders magazine can measure .

237 million euros in total. The end of the 2019-2020 season, abruptly truncated by the very first confinement, will therefore have been right of an overall upward investment curve since 2016. The total envelope of 237 million euros invested over this season by the operators of ski areas mark a very serious halt compared to the € 379 million posted in fiscal year 2019, and € 399 million for that of 2018! And no investment item is spared. They all show a significant drop, between -18% and -51% compared to the five-year average.


In our department, total investments amounted to € 71.6 million, including € 34.4 million devoted to new ski lifts, € 15.9 million to maintenance and modifications to existing devices, 12.8 million € to artificial snow and € 1.3 million to leisure equipment.


In the 2019-2020 season, investment strategies were therefore arbitrated by priority issues and dictated by immediate economic constraints. For the current season, ski area operators will probably be forced to further drastically reduce their investments, after being deprived of winter income. To cope, the state has already announced that it will support the sector through a Mountain plan, focused on investments in ecological transition, diversification of tourist activities and competitiveness of the accommodation offer. Otherwise, faced with a future that is still particularly foggy, an investment freeze would have a considerable impact on the competitiveness of our mountain destinations.

Top 3 by investment item in the Savoyard resorts.
Arêches-Beaufort, on the investment podium
With its new Le Bois gondola lift, the Savoy resort of Arêches-Beaufort occupies the second step of the podium in the ranking by investment ratio of French ski areas for the year 2020. The company of mixed economy thus invested more than 10 M € last year, that is to say a ratio of 287% of its average turnover of the last five years. " This level of investment is allowed approximately every ten years thanks to the community. This new device corrects black spots identified with our customers. The choice of a gondola also includes an economic dimension, since the profile made it possible to save ten pylons compared to the solution of a chairlift. Finally, if the arrival of the cable car does not create a new ski offer, it gives new interest to the Perches slope, whose departure and arrival coincide with those of this new device  ”, comments Laurent Fillion, director. of Semab Arêches-Beaufort. But to reap the benefits of these investments, the resort will have to wait a little longer ...

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