Swiss ski resorts in danger of closing

Swiss ski resorts in danger of closing

The energy crisis may pull the plug on ski lifts and snow cannons

The burgeoning energy crisis in Europe appears to now be reaching Swiss ski resorts, which may be ordered to cut electricity usage for ski lifts and snow-making equipment by a fifth, Radio Television Suisse reported on Thursday.

The electricity used by this vital ski equipment could power 40,000 Swiss households for a whole year, according to the report. However, the plan is opposed by industry representatives, who say that it may dramatically slash revenues, thus threatening jobs in a sector that has been struggling for the last two winters because of Covid-19.

Curtailing the use of snow-making equipment would “present a big risk for ski resorts,” according to Laurent Vaucher, head of the lift operator Televerbier in the Swiss canton of Valais, who said that every franc spent on lift passes brings six francs to the region.

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The operator may consider switching off certain lights, portable heaters and hot water in bathrooms, as well as cutting some elevators and escalators, Vaucher said, adding that some lifts could be slowed or stopped at night.

The 2,400 lift operators in Switzerland are the cornerstone of the country’s ski industry, which reportedly contributes 5 billion Swiss francs ($5.1 billion) to annual GDP.

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Author: Shirley