Ski resorts are trying to gain altitude. If the ski lifts will remain closed at Christmas, the staff of the small station of Montclar in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence wants to believe it anyway.
To avoid the economic crash, officials will offer parallel activities to attract tourists and visitors. “Including toboggan runs, the snow garden which would eventually be open, the ice rink which is below”, list Alain Quievre, president of Montclar Domaine Skiable.
The idea, to ensure that the station is viable and can live an almost normal winter season, even without skiing and the importance that the slopes represent in the local economy.
“I immediately think of our employees and the employment generated by the ski lifts. These are 350 direct and indirect jobs, 10 million euros in annual turnover. There will be a real economic crash. But we mountain people, we will adapt and we will not die twice “.
Rather than taking out the pairs of skis, the rental companies have put snow tires on the summer mountain bikes and the guides will still work with snowshoes. All with a lot of ideas in mind.
“The creation of an igloo, the observation and the molding of footprints, a little walk to meet the donkeys”, details Stéphane Meuriot, mountain guide. Montclar remains hopeful. Half of the vacationers who usually come here are not skiers.