Abondance Bounces Back from ‘Global Warming Closure’
Started by Admin in Ski News 26-Oct-2009 - 1 Reply
Admin posted Oct-2009
The Associated Press agency seized on the news and it appeared in newspapers all around the world as evidence that skiing in the Alps was coming to its end (eg: http://www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth/archives/2007/07/whatta-mean-the.html)
The problem with the story was that Abondance's decision was not really related to climate change, but more to economics – a problem faced by thousands of small ski areas around the world in the past decade. It's a very similar scenario to other business sectors, the decline of small local shops as customers favour supermarkets being the obvious parallel.
Their lifts, often built in the 1960s or 70s, are getting elderly, their costs for staffing, power, insurance are all escalating, the trend is for skiers and boarders to head to the big glossy resorts favoured by tour operators and newspaper reviewers. In short, the future's not looking bright and huge bills for maintenance and possible replacement appear unavoidable as a major government inspection looms.
Hundreds of small ski areas had already decided to call it a day, largely un-noticed, before Abondance, and this season, as every season, dozens more will decide not to open.
Abondance, happily, will no longer be closed. Alas climate change is still with us, but none-the-less Abondance re-opens this winter, thanks to its purchase by an American investor, who already works in the ski lift industry so can help there. He apparently wanted to get a toe in to the European market and sees Abondance as a good bet.
Courtesy of and © Snow24 plc
Topic last updated on 27-October-2009 at 06:19