Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up
Switzerland’s largest ski area is breaking up over a disagreement among its lift operators.
The operators of the 4-Vallées area, whose lifts link five resorts in the canton of Valais, including Verbier, cannot agree on a revenue-sharing scheme, local newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported on Monday.
The deadlock means that next season skiers and snow boarders will no longer be able to move from one area to another with the same ticket.
Besides Verbier, the sprawling 4-Vallées area links the resorts of La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon with 82 lifts and 412 kilometres of slopes.
The four lift operating companies, who have cooperated under a joint agreement since 2006, have been unable to agree on revenue sharing from the Thyon area, Le Nouvelliste said.
On Monday, TéléVerbier, lift operator for the Verbier resort, announced its plans for the 2014-15 ski season, saying it was cutting its links with the other areas.
It unveiled its “Verbier Grand Ski” area, linking the Mont-Fort, Médran Savoleyres and Bruson areas, with a daily lift ticket price of 71 francs ($79.50), one franc more than for last season with access to significantly less terrain.
Jean-Pierre Morand, chairman of TéléVerbier, is quoted by Le Nouvelliste as saying he was “disheartened by this situation but we no longer have the choice”.
The TéléVeysonnaz lift company announced in December 2012 that it would no longer continue under the current revenue-sharing deal after June 30th this year.
The parties have subsequently been unable to reach a deal.
Téléverbier said before the snow flies efforts will pursued to re-establish the 4-Vallées ticket but for the moment tourist operators are being informed that the one-ticket, five resorts offer will no longer be available.