Updated to include statements from the Morzine Ski Area.
Not long ago, a small group of ski resorts elsewhere in France sounded the alarm – “As things stand, we won’t be able to open this winter” said one resort director. “The electricity bill would represent between 20% and 25% of our turnover, against 5% currently,” he continued, adding “we will not be able to pay it.”
Meanwhile, in Les Gets, lift operator SaGets has gone to huge lengths to reassure skiers this winter. An update issued yesterday included the following information and will hopefully reassure those of you set to join us this winter.
“We can confirm for you that the ski lifts of Les Gets will be open this winter,” the statement begins. SaGets agree that “like all sectors, we are hit hard by the rises in energy prices, but we will cope by continuing the work on energy savings that has been undertaken for several years now.” There’s also been speculation elsewhere that lift pass prices would rise to offset some of the extra energy costs. SaGets reassure us that there will be no increase in lift pass prices this season. “As every year, the price of ski passes for the following season were already reassessed last spring to take inflation into account. These prices are communicated on all our sales sites. There will be no new price increase for ski passes this Winter.”
The ski lift operators of Morzine followed suit, reassuring everyone that the Morzine ski area will open, as planned, between the dates of 17th December 2022 and 10th April 2023. The organisation also reminds everyone that they didn’t wait until the current global energy crisis to make efficiencies within the ski area, having implemented new improvements during successive years. Concerning the new efforts to be made this winter season, and with the exception of night skiing, “these efforts will have no visible consequences for customers,” we’re promised. We’re also reassured that there will be no increases to lift pass prices, further to the standard incremental increase which was published in March 2022.
For many years Les Gets has been a resort motivated to reduce energy consumption and improve sustainability.
– SaGets were one of the first lift operators in France to equip their entire fleet of piste bashers with the Snow Sat system, which uses GPS to measure snow depth, enabling drivers to spread snow across the pistes and reducing the need to produce artificial snow from canons.
– In 2013 SaGets asked its energy supplier EDF to guarantee that a quantity of energy it provides comes from renewable sources, equivalent to 100% of the consumption of the ski lifts.
– The French government have requested that all businesses across France reduce their energy consumption by 10% over the next two years, so the resort continues to discover new and innovative ways to reduce the energy required to continue operations.
What can we expect this winter?
SaGets have implemented a number of measures to fulfil the requirement to reduce energy consumption, but they stress that these will not affect the skier experience in Les Gets. Some non-exhaustive examples include:
– Optimising the speed of the ski lifts according to the number of skiers in the ski area. During off-peak times for example, the lifts will run at a slower speed, consuming less energy.
– The SaGets team will be trained to eco-drive the ski lifts to ensure they run at optimal capacity.
– Ski huts across the domain, including those at lift stations, will be renovated to reduce their energy requirements.
– Bulbs will be replaced for LED alternatives, snow production will be adapted at the end of the season and new tools will be implemented to measure energy usage.
– Further extended measures are also available, should they become required.
In Morzine, a long list of efforts have also been published by the ski lift operating company. In addition to those listed above by SaGets, these include:
– Closing quiet lifts outside of peak hours
– No further snow production at borderline temperatures
– There’ll be no night skiing on the Pleney this winter
– Replacing old and inefficient ski lift mechanisms with more energy efficient alternatives
– Lowering the heating in all company buildings to 19 degrees
Hopefully the statement above (which you can read in full in French here) helps to reassure skiers. We’ll keep this page updated with any further details.