“There is not enough snow,” so the French ski area is closed permanently

La Sambouie, 45 minutes from Annecy, is a small ski area with three lifts and a set of slopes reaching 1,850 metres. It is located in the middle of the mountain overlooking Lake Annecy, Aravis and Mont Blanc. But snow is increasingly absent.

“We were snowing from December 1 to March 30,” Jacques Dalix, mayor of La Sambuie, told CNN. Last winter, there was only snow for “four weeks, and even then it wasn’t a significant amount of snow,” Dalix said. As a result, “stones and rocks appeared very quickly on the slopes.”

Due to the lack of snow, the resort suffers an annual operating loss of about 500 thousand euros. Just running the elevators costs €80,000 a year. In short, it is no longer profitable to start a new ski season.

Therefore, the municipal council took a radical decision to permanently close the ski resort and dismantle the ski lifts. However, La Sambuie still hopes to attract visitors as a summer and outdoor destination for walking, exercising and enjoying beautiful nature.

There is now a message on La Sambuy’s website that the ski area has been “permanently closed” since September 10, following the municipal council’s decision. It sounds like this: “Thank you all for all the wonderful years we spent by your side.”

Petition

But not everyone wants to accept this decision. The petition submitted by the Tous Ensemble Pour La Sambuy association has already collected more than 1,900 signatures. The association is calling for the resort to be operated in a more sustainable way and for the cable car to be kept open for mountain hikers in the summer.

La Sambuy is not the only French ski area in crisis. Last year, Saint-Fermin, another small resort in the Hautes-Alpes department, chose to remove its ski lift after the winter season was shortened from months to weeks due to climate change.

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Denton Watson

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