2020 has been a year like no other for ski tourism, with resorts across Europe and the world being forced to shut due to lockdowns and restrictions. Many keen skiers and those in need of some fresh mountain air are wondering when and if they can return to the slopes soon.
French ski resorts opened in October with restrictions in place, only to shut again a few weeks later due to the national lockdown in France. But when will they reopen?
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When will French ski resorts open?
The French government announced this week that they will be shutting ski lifts over Christmas to stop the spread of COVID-19. They are hoping to reopen the slopes on January 20, although this will be subject to the coronavirus situation in France at the time.
President Macron said that he wants to put a plan in place for resorts to open in January under “favourable conditions”. The French Prime Minister, Jean Castex, said that the overall aim is to protect the ski resorts and skiers from coronavirus.
Prime Minister Jean Castex had discussions with representatives from the French mountain communities on Monday. They will meet again on December 11th to “discuss the situation and decide when resorts can reopen”.
What can you expect from the 2021 ski season?
If the ski slopes reopen in January, things are likely to operate a little differently to the ski holiday you’re used to. Mask wearing is set to be compulsory in public areas, including on the ski lifts. However, they won’t be necessary on the slopes. You’ll also have to get used to booking ahead for most things, from ski hire to restaurants.
Like everywhere else, bars and restaurants will make more use of outdoor space to ensure that social distancing can be enforced. Après ski can hopefully continue but will be a little more toned down. The livelier resorts, especially, will feel quieter than usual!
Perhaps a positive change to look forward to will be the quieter slopes. The 2021 ski season could be ideal for a complete beginner or novice who wishes to have the time and space to hone their skills. Alternatively, seasoned skiers could take this opportunity to stretch themselves and tackle the more challenging slopes.
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Is this a good time to buy a ski property?
Demand for ski accommodation is likely to shift next year, with a general move away from staying in hotels and towards private accommodation. If you’re a keen skier or fancy a lockdown bolthole in the mountains, you may wish to rent or buy your own ski home.
The ski property market is still buoyant, with buyers looking for clean air, open space and the good quality of life that the mountains offer. Now could be an ideal time to start planning your ski property purchase ahead of making a viewing trip next year.