Source: Schengen Visa Info
Due to the effects of global warming that have led to a lack of snow, a ski resort in the French Alps, La Sambuy, has decided to cease operations permanently.
This charming family-oriented resort, located near France’s great Trois Vallees ski area, has recently been able to offer only one month of skiing during the winter season, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In this regard, Mayor Jacques Dalex of La Sambuy said that in the past, the resort enjoyed a long ski season, usually stretching from December 1 to March 30. Recently, however, the resort could barely stay open for less than five weeks during January and February.
This unfortunate situation led to an estimated annual operating deficit of around €500,000. Meanwhile, the maintenance of the ski lifts alone caused a yearly cost of €80,000.
As CNN reports, La Sambuy, though charming, could be a better resort. It boasts only three ski lifts and a limited number of ski slopes, with the highest point reaching an altitude of 1,850 meters (about 6,070 feet).
In 2023, due to the slight snowfall that allowed the resort to open for only a few weeks in January and February, La Sambuy faced an annual financial loss of around €500,000.
What set La Sambuy apart was its affordability, making it a popular choice among families looking for an authentic alpine experience without breaking the bank. A seven-day ski pass was attractively priced at just €97, making it an affordable option for those looking to enjoy the slopes without the burden of high lift pass costs.
On September 10, 2023, the resort’s website released a notice saying it would be “finally closing”. The message expressed heartfelt thanks to everyone for their patronage during the last summer of 2023 and expressed appreciation for the wonderful years spent with the visitors. It marked the end of an era for the resort and its cherished memories.
La Sambuy is one of many French ski resorts facing the consequences of climate change. Last year, Saint-Firmin, another small alpine ski destination, decided to remove its ski lift after seeing its once-extensive winter season shrink from months to just weeks, a situation attributed to climate change’s effects.
Mountain Wilderness, an environmental group based in France, has also reported that it has dismantled 22 ski lifts across the country since 2001. In addition, they estimate that 106 abandoned ski lifts are spread across 59 different areas in France, further highlighting the challenges smaller resorts face.
A report published in August in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change revealed that 53 per cent of 2,234 ski resorts surveyed in Europe are likely to face “a very high risk of snow supply” when subject to an increase of two degrees Celsius in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels, except when artificial snowmaking techniques are employed.