The energy crisis and rising electricity prices threaten the ski season in Europe. Tourists can expect an increase in prices for accommodation and skip-passes and the closure of ski lifts.
Ski passes will increase in price by 10%
Ski resorts in Europe are preparing to save. The pan-European policy on energy conservation and the increase in energy prices force to slow down the speed of elevators or even turn them off, as well as to lower the temperature at tourist infrastructure facilities.
According to European media reports, due to inflation and the energy crisis, prices for ski passes at alpine resorts will increase next season by 6%-10%.
Unable to pay huge electricity bills, many ski lift operators will be forced to close. In turn, this will affect the entire ski infrastructure, including ski schools, restaurants, and hotels.
Many French ski resorts do not want to open
According to the French industry association Domaines Skiables de France (DSF), France has around 300 ski resorts located in 6 mountain ranges. In total, more than 120,000 jobs (hotels, restaurants, shops, schools, etc.) depend on the opening of ski resorts.
However, it is not yet clear whether all ski resorts will be able to make money this winter: so far, the companies included in the DSF cannot sign a new contract with the energy companies. The new electricity bills will account for 20% to 25% of resort turnover, up from 5% now.
“Chair lifts are considered a means of transportation in France, like buses or the subway. So unfortunately they have to open up,” says Anne Marty, Altiservice Deputy CEO and President of DSF.
The Altiservice company manages the ski resorts of Saint-Lary and Font-Rome. According to Marty’s estimates, Altiservice’s electricity bills in the coming winter season will increase from 2 million euros to 15 million euros.
Current electricity prices are a “huge obstacle,” agrees Fabrice Bute, general manager of the SATA group, which operates lifts at several ski resorts in France. The electricity bills of this group will increase from approximately 2 to 20 million euros.
To save money, some ski slopes will be served by one cable car instead of two during off-peak periods. The speed of other extractions will be reduced.
“Electricity bills are usually about 5% of our budget. But at such electricity prices, they will already make up a quarter of the budget. If this schedule continues, we simply won’t be able to stay open this winter because we won’t be able to pay the electricity bills,” Sebastien Giraud, a representative of the popular resort of Villars de Lances in the Alps, said on TV.
According to him, if a ski resort has to close, it will have a huge “ripple” effect: ski tourism brings up to 80% of the income of businesses and residents in the vicinity of any resort. Giro believes that the authorities simply do not yet understand how serious the consequences will be.
Light, heating, and accommodation are becoming more expensive in European resorts
In Switzerland, this winter is also expected to reduce energy consumption on ski lifts by at least 20%. This will also cause the speed of the lift lines to decrease. In addition, Switzerland is considering the possibility of abandoning evening and night skiing – it is necessary to save money on the lighting of the tracks.
In Italy, the situation is practically no difference.
“Electricity costs have increased by 300%, so no company can operate their lifts without increasing the price of ski passes,” says Diego Clara, representative of Dolomiti Superski.
“Housing and hotels for tourists are also noticeably more expensive, as hotels and apartments now pay much more for heating and lighting,” Klara added.
In Norway, there was a tenfold increase in the cost of electricity for ski resorts. Under the conditions, according to the estimates of industry associations of service providers, every third facility in these resort areas will close.