Stations: what season this summer?

After the regrettable soap opera of the administrative closure of ski lifts throughout the winter, mountain resorts are now turning to preparing for summer.

Last year, the winter season of the stations had already been cut off by a few days by their precipitous closure following the announcement of the first confinement. But that was nothing compared to the scale of what would have to be faced by ski area operators and mountain tourism professionals during the winter season, which is now drawing to a close.


Due to the lack of abundant snow during the last holidays of All Saints’ Day, only the very high altitude resorts with a glacier are really impacted by the administrative closure of the ski lifts, decided in November by the government, due to the second wave. epidemic. But all the professionals in the sector already fear the worst: that the closure also be extended to the Christmas holidays, the highlight par excellence of the resort’s activity.


In a long-awaited televised address, Emmanuel Macron leaves little hope on the issue. “  A consultation has been initiated by the government with local elected officials and professionals, but it seems to me impossible to envisage an opening for the holidays  ”, slices the President of the Republic. The announcement, which some feared but which seemed impossible to many, was like a bomb in the mountain world.


Ski area operators, hotels, tourism or seasonal players … All those who had accepted without batting an eyelid the first administrative closures of ski areas now seem determined to mobilize massively to influence the line of the executive on the closure of resorts in the heart of in winter, through demonstrations in front of the prefectures, press forums or legal referrals.


`From January 20, the season is folded. That day, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State for Tourism confirms: “  A reopening [of the stations] in mid or late February appears highly improbable. We are moving towards a white season  ”. For professionals in the sector, it’s the cold shower. The February holidays represent up to 40% of the activity of mountain resorts. The shortfall already amounts to nearly 4 billion euros for ski areas. Investments are at a standstill. The whole industry threatens to collapse. In Savoy, the “white” economy represents nearly half of the Department’s wealth and employs a great deal of businesses in a wide variety of sectors.


Faced with the stagnation of the sector, the state draws a direct aid plan of 4 billion euros. Competitiveness, diversification, renovations, mobility …: a second plan is launched in March to direct the investments necessary for “the mountain of the future”. And as this unique winter season comes to an end, we must prepare for the summer, without stopping. So, courage and forward!

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