A few months ago there was talk of the fact that Disneyland was scheduled to open in time for the February holidays and this was a positive indicator for the Ski Resorts. Well yesterday, that changed. Disneyland took to Twitter to announce a delayed opening.
France is still well over the 5,000 cases per day target that was set last year for the Ski Resorts to be able to open. Tighter curfews have recently been implemented in an effort to curb the spread of the virus but with 4 times the number of cases per day still being reported [Source: France24], what does that mean for the Ski Resorts?
Discussions of many businesses being allowed to open on the 20th January is looking a little out of reach, given the newly imposed, tighter restrictions. Disneyland is a part state owned company, hence it being considered an indicator for other types of businesses. Those two scenarios combined means it looks like the Ski Resorts will continue to be the touring playground of the lucky few for a while. This is just speculation and pretty heartbreaking, but the signals aren't optimistic.
Although many business owners are hanging on to every glimmer of hope at being able to open their doors soon, there are some who believe that protecting their communities from the virus takes priority. I recently saw a thread on one of the Seasonaire Facebook Groups that I am in, where there was a huge debate about tourists being allowed to enter the resort. An independent guide had advertised that he was available for work, encouraging clients from the UK to contact him if they wanted to make a booking and needed any help getting across the borders to make it to the Alps. Here are some of the responses from Locals:
That's just the gist as there was a 44 comment discussion on the subject. I think that there is strong feeling at the moment that so much sacrifice has been made, that it is a huge risk for people to travel from the UK into France at the moment. Particularly given the different strains that are circulating and the fact that the vaccine rollout is in its infancy.
Even if UK tourists aren't able to travel to France, Austria, Switzerland or any other Skiing destinations in Europe, that doesn't stop the day-trippers once the resorts are able to open. This will enable business owners to recuperate some of their costs, but obviously doesn't make sense until it is safe for the resorts to do so and infection rates are much lower. I haven't been able to find any specific answers on the internet and when I speak to friends to ask if they have any news, everyone just says that 'nobody knows'. Reading between the lines and speculating with a big spoonful of common sense mixed in seems like all that anyone can do at the moment.
We'll keep you updated! Sasha is in Val d'Isère so will be able to keep his ear to the ground for any rumours. I'm still trying to stay optimistic here in the UK. It has been really tough adjusting to not living in the mountains in the winter and not able to go back to my job but I know that I'm not alone in feeling that way. There are tens of thousands of Seasonaires who are going through the same thing. Hopefully a visa solution for seasonal worker will be found by next winter and the resorts will be able to fully open once again. Hang in there everyone!