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Sport Ski resorts closed at Christmas: “dismay” and “amazement” among mountain professionals

18:55  25 november  2020
18:55  25 november  2020 Source:   lefigaro.fr

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Government fears that opening up ski resorts at Christmas and New Year could lead to a third wave of infections. “We’ re working with Merkel and Macron for a common European protocol,” Mr Conte said in an Italian television interview. “If we close our mountain resorts and adjoining countries do

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Le président Macron a déclaré que les stations de sport d'hiver ne pourraient pas ouvrir à Noël. © Emmanuel Foudrot / REUTERS President Macron declared that winter sports resorts could not open at Christmas.

The bronca of the professionals of the mountain was not long in coming. Since the President of the Republic considered "impossible" Tuesday evening the opening of winter sports resorts for the end of the year holidays, due to the health risks linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, judging " preferable to favor a reopening in January under good conditions by coordinating the initiatives with the Europeans ”, the reactions fuse.

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French ski resort closed due to lack of snow. Meanwhile, the rows of rental ski boots, skis and poles in Mr Gillaizeau's shop are untouched. He said he has had to reduce the hours of some staff, and expected revenue across his businesses this season to be down between 10 per cent and 15 per cent.

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Immediately after his televised address, Alexandre Maulin, president of the Ski Areas of France, launched a" coup de mouth "on the professional social network LinkedIn: " How can Mr. Jean Castex bring together all the professionals to work on the ski season and give us an answer within 10 days and that President Emmanuel Macron can tell us that our hopes are zero? " . The person in charge is still indignant: "Do you know to what extent the stations have worked on unique sanitary measures on the scale of our territories to make the stations exemplary places?" "It's a denial of democracy" , strangles Alexandre Maulin.

Still on LinkedIn, Michaël Ruysschaert, Managing Director of Savoie Mont-Blanc Tourisme, is indignant: “Tonight, the mountain is on the edge, its feet in the air. A decision at the top which shakes up the wise promise of the day before: that of a concerted and measured decision to save the economy and the winter season ”. In the flood of reactions to this post we read: “Whoever fears suffering already suffers from what he fears. Never has this little phrase from Montaigne been so topical in the land of White Gold ”, writes Gérard Pouet, expert from a firm specializing in the valuation of sporting goods businesses located in resorts of Mountain.

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The Glencoe Mountain ski resort remains closed after a Christmas Day fire "almost completely destroyed" its base station restaurant. Managing director Andy Meldrum said the fire burned for several hours before the alarm was raised because it was the only day of the year the resort is closed .

Several ski resorts in the Eastern Sierra and Tahoe closed part or all operations Monday because of a blizzard that dropped as much as 9 feet of snow in the biggest storm system so far this season. Squaw Valley and Alpine resorts in the Tahoe area also closed Monday because of unsafe conditions.

"Open in restricted mode (bars and restaurants to take away, limitations on lifts just in case) is quite playable from Christmas on with all the barrier measures, from the solid sanitary system common to the stations, with 99% activity outside and with distances and space ”, in turn pleads Benoît Derenne, deputy director of the Villars-de-Lans tourist office.

The Swiss and Austrian stations are open, some Italian stations have also announced their upcoming opening.

In a press release issued as a distress call, Patrick Ricou and Yvan Chaix, respectively president and director of the Hautes-Alpes development agency, spoke directly to the Head of State. “You authorize the opening of establishments in closed places but not the practice of skiing, an outdoor activity par excellence. You authorize travel between regions to spend Christmas with the family, but not in the resort. You mention a European coordination while the Swiss stations are open and the Italian ones will remain closed until February. Yesterday evening, you wiped out months of work between the government, professionals and elected officials in the mountains to build the appropriate health protocols. ”

"Under the shock of the presidential announcement" , Chantal Carlioz, president of Isère Attractiveness and vice-president of Isère in charge of mountains and resorts, also expresses her dismay. "In this dramatic period, I know that we are not negotiating with the health crisis" . Chantal Carlioz also insists on the discussion that was underway. “With all the mountain stakeholders, we were preparing the opening of the resorts, as mountain dwellers have always been able to do, , she underlines . We were waiting for the ongoing validation of the opening sanitary protocol ”. And to hammer: "It is amazement and dismay in our ranks in front of this inconsistency. »

Swiss slopes buzz as those of neighbors sit idle in pandemic .
GENEVA (AP) — Two weeks after beating COVID-19, Thierry Salamin huffs as his ski boots crunch through Swiss snow near the Matterhorn peak, readying for a downhill run with his mood as bright as his blue and fluorescent yellow ski getup and the sun overhead. The 31-year-old real estate agent from the southwestern Swiss region of Wallis can’t believe he is skiing during a pandemic, let alone one that he personally endured — and which has driven a wedge between his country and its Alpine neighbors over where people can ski, and where they can't. © Provided by Associated Press An empty gondola goes up in Zermatt, Switzerland, Thursday, Dec.3, 2020.

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