Monday, January 18

Closing of ski resorts at Christmas: white gold in a black anger

It is a cold snap that the mountain would have gone well: in one sentence, Tuesday evening, Emmanuel Macron put an end to the hopes of opening ski resorts for the Christmas holidays, and rendered the consultation that his government had opened the day before. “However, it seems to me impossible to envisage an opening for the holidays”, said the President of the Republic, judging “Preferable to favor a reopening in January under good conditions”.

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The day before, Jean Castex and half a dozen ministers had, during a videoconference bringing together all the players in the mountain – ski areas, elected officials, hoteliers and restaurateurs – referred to a decision within ten days. Professionals hoped that this period of time would allow the indicators of the epidemic, so far dramatic in Savoie and Haute-Savoie, to come down, and to free up places in hospitals.

The executive’s about-face took ski professionals by surprise, who did not expect the subject to be addressed by the President of the Republic. The Remarks by the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, Sunday November 15, calling for hiring seasonal workers no matter what, had also been received as a cause for hope. “The prevailing feeling is betrayal. It is an additional cacophony in the management of the crisis ”, annoyed Vincent Rolland, deputy (LR) of Savoie and co-president of Savoie Mont Blanc Tourisme.

Tiny Breach

Patrick Mignola, member of Savoy and boss of the MoDem group in the National Assembly, regrets the manner employed. “This hasty decision is incomprehensible”, judge elected, received Wednesday afternoon, at his request, by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex. “Emmanuel Macron’s announcement puts dozens of stations and workers in difficulty”, he emphasizes, believing thatthis requires specific support because the stations will register a net loss of 20% of their turnover with the cancellation of Christmas ”.

“The actors of the mountain are still campaigning to try to obtain the reopening on December 15. »Gérard Brémond, Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs

Others, more alarmist, estimate that between the loss of December and the absence of foreign skiers in January at least, the large resorts will lose nearly 50% of their income. “Consultation with professionals is still ongoing. It’s not definitely closed ”, insists in the entourage of the Secretary of State in charge of tourism, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.

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