Famous ski resort closed forever: “It doesn’t snow enough anymore”

Skiing and snowboarding are enough, there is no snow in the mountains to do these sports. It is better to surrender to the evidence than to continue shooting artificial snow. And residents of a small town in Haute-Savoie on the French side of Mont Blanc decided to do just that, opting to close the family ski resort La Sambuy in mid-June. The decision is one of the most prominent examples of the impact of climate change on regions and the decisions people can adopt: to persist on the old path or to adapt and direct their future elsewhere.

onshore finance

The Faverges-Seythenex city council voted to close the ski lifts on June 14; Vote 22 in favor and 9 against. Opponents of the closure have announced plans to appeal, but fate now appears to be sealed. The small town has three ski lifts and a summer toboggan run. A public consultation was launched in January, presenting various scenarios for the future, including complete closure of the facilities. Ultimately, this was the only perspective considered and presented to the city council. “I believe that this is the right decision for the municipality. It is in our hands to realize this area, taking into account global warming but also taking into account the financial situation of the municipality.” Mayor Jacques Dalex after the vote. Regarding the income from ski tourism, the mayor said: “These benefits do not justify the millions of euros that society pays every year. We will try to invent a ski-free mountain to continue attracting tourists”.

There are those who want to continue skiing

Opponents gathered in front of the town hall, denouncing the decision as a “tourist and professional disaster” for the area and claiming that it proposed “solutions to save money, but also projects for other activities in addition to low altitude.” As association president Christian Bailly puts it, “The whole community for La Sambuy“. The day before the decision, a fake announcement was published on the Internet that the station would be sold at auction. Thus, opponents wanted to highlight the possible consequences of closing the station.

Very short season

Most citizens realized that the ski season had now been reduced to a few weeks, meaning that the opening of the resorts could not be justified economically. Meteorologists had already announced that there would be very little snowfall this winter in the town, which is located at an altitude of 1,150 to 1,800 meters. Due to the lack of summer rains, even artificial snow cannot be a solution and artificial snow is already very burdensome. The case also attracted the attention of US television broadcaster CNN. Mayor Dalex admitted into the microphones that snow last season only allowed them to operate for four weeks during a period that would normally run from December 1 to March 30. While the tourist resort records losses of around 500 thousand euros annually, the maintenance of the ski lifts alone costs at least 80 thousand euros a year.

death of skiing

The city council, which is responsible for the management of the slopes, followed the predictions of French geographer Megali Reghezza-Zitt, who in January declared the “death of skiing” in the Alps within twenty years at the latest. Even artificial snow, which can cover 45 percent of the tracks in France, will not be able to prevent this situation, and skiing will be possible until 2050 at the latest. The most forward-thinking managers and ski resort owners are now under pressure. Investing in a gradual economic transition by experts. According to mayor Dalex, Le Sambuy will be a destination for learning “to discover and protect nature, go for walks, do sports if possible.”

Source: Today IT