In Villard-de-lans, towards Grenoble, the ski lifts are at a standstill like in all other French ski resorts.
P. Desmazes / AFP
As feared by mountain stakeholders, the government announced on Wednesday that the ski lifts would not reopen on February 1.
This decision destroys the hopes of ski professionals to save part of the season.
In the resorts, 80% of the turnover linked to winter practices is in fact generated from the beginning of December to the end of the winter holidays.
The calls "to save the mountain" launched in recent days by ski professionals have been in vain.
The government announced on Wednesday that the ski lifts would not reopen on February 1, for school holidays, due to the health situation.
Although feared since the introduction of the general curfew at 6 p.m. and the new degradation of the Covid-19 monitoring indicators, this decision comes to doub the hopes of the stations of saving part of the season.
On Monday, to avoid an economic disaster, ski professionals had called on the government to authorize chair lifts, butt pullers and snow groomers as soon as possible to get back on the slopes.
"The mountain economic system took 60 years to set up and, in a few months, we will destroy it", warned Jean-Luc Boch, president of the National Association of Mountain Resort Mayors, fearing a season black.
And “breakage” in the stations.
A white season
The new Mountain Business Collective, which claims to represent 200,000 direct jobs, had asked the government to allow the lifts to reopen for January 30 and to increase aid "to ensure the survival of the mountain ecosystem" and "to limit the social impact ”.
After the Christmas holidays, which did not attract the hoped-for tourists to the mountains, professionals relied on the February holidays to fill part of the shortfall in recent months.
During the Holidays, the average occupancy rate in the resort was 25%, i.e. 70% less than during the 2019-2020 season.
A loss estimated at € 1.5 billion in turnover over these two weeks.
In the resort, 80% of turnover linked to winter sports is generated between the beginning of December and the end of the February holidays, according to the mountain players who should face a white season.
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