Popular Family-Friendly Ski Resort in the French Alps Closes Permanently Due to Lack of Snow
The winter season is still a few months away, but skiers can already cross La Sambuy resort in Upper Savoy off their list. The municipal council has decided to permanently close the resort, located in the small town of Faverges-Seitenex near Mont Blanc.
This is reported by 7sur7.
La Sambuy was incredibly popular among families, thanks to its beginner-friendly slopes and seven-day passes costing €97. It featured ten ski runs and three chairlifts, the dismantling of which is already in progress.
The resort's owners decided to dismantle their lifts because global warming shortened the ski season to just a few weeks, making it economically unviable to keep them open.
"We used to have snow almost from the beginning of December to the end of March," said Mayor Jacques Dalex. "However, last winter there were only 'four weeks of snow, and even then, there wasn't much. This meant that rocks and boulders quickly appeared on the slopes."
The resort can now operate for less than five weeks in January and February. According to Dalex, the projected annual operating loss is approximately €500,000 ($530,000). Maintaining the lifts alone costs €80,000 per year.
According to Dalex, the ski resort is no longer financially viable.
"Climate change forces us to rethink our approach," he said.
Nonetheless, the municipality still hopes to attract visitors in the summer season as a place for hiking, sports, and outdoor recreation.
The city's website now displays a message stating that the ski area is "closed forever" from September 10, following the decision of the municipal council.
But not everyone is willing to give up. A petition by the "Tous Ensemble Pour La Sambuy" association has already gathered over 1,900 signatures. The association advocates for a more stable operation of the station and for the chairlift to remain open in the summer for mountain tourists.
La Sambuy is not the only French ski resort in crisis. Last year, Saint-Firmin, another small resort in the Upper Alps department, decided to dismantle its chairlift after the winter season was shortened from several months to just a few weeks due to climate change.