We may, or may not, be able to ski the Alps this winter. Right now, we cannot. Just in case we can take wing across the proverbial pond, more detailed news regarding the pandemic, and how the countries are handling it, can be found on the website under that related heading.
As we all know, our economy is in totally unknown territory. So is the ski industry. Skiing is an expensive, treasured sport. In my mind, its ultimate luxury is skiing the Alps. So, if and when, that becomes possible, it may be an understood financial stretch for many.
The most fluid state-of-affairs within our travel industry is the status of US airlines. Their financial situation is precariously ever-changing, as are schedules, which, of course, depend on how many people are flying. Those numbers continue to be way below historic figures. The industry doesn’t anticipate a return to 2019 levels for two or three years. That could mean without governmental aid, our airline industry may be ‘reformulated’ out of necessity in the future.
In Our Resorts
Regardless of country, all European resorts have instituted mask wearing in villages, hotels, on lifts, etc. Temperatures will be taken throughout. Contactless transactions are becoming the norm. The Alta Badia will be speeding up lifts reducing the time skiers are inside gondolas. Switzerland Tourism has initiated its “Clean & Safe” certifications that must be met on all levels of their travel industry.
In Austrian resorts, such as Kitzbühel, Lech and St. Anton, après ski activities will not be allowed as a result of Ischgl’s “Ibiza of the Alps” debacle that became a huge Covid-19 spreader across Europe last March.
Davos/Klosters, Grindelwald/Wengen, Zermatt, and St. Anton all have major new lift installations for this winter. The World Economic Forum in Davos/Klosters was canceled and, assuming we can travel, hotels there during the third week of January will be available.
This winter Méribel is our only Trois Vallées resort and it allows guests to cancel without penalty based on force majeur including closed borders, ski areas, lifts, and/or hotels. This type of policy will also be typical of other resorts. Courchevel hotels have become so costly I question their value for money.
In November 2022 Zermatt, with their Italian neighbors, will have its first ever FIS World Cup race series. The men’s downhill will be the highest and longest among all the FIS races.
In The Hotels
Here are the few changes: The four-star Allodis, Méribel returns to the program because Courchevel’s Chabichou now has new owners so I want to see how that works. The Châlet d’Adrien in Verbier and Hotel Alpaga in Megève now have two Michelin stars for their gourmet restaurants.
Alps vs. The Rockies
This winter many North American resorts will be requiring skiing reservations minimally a week prior to planned arrivals. European resorts are much larger, so reservations won’t be necessary.
Some European resorts accept the Epic and Ikon passes, with varying numbers of days and some with specific accommodations requirements. The Epic resorts are Lech/St. Anton, Austria (3 days plus accommodations); Méribel, France (6 days) and Verbier, Switzerland (5 days with accommodations). The Ikon is accepted in Zermatt without restrictions.
|7 Nights’ Accommodations, round-trip transfers, 6-day ski pass, all taxes, & no dining||7 Resort nights + 8th in gateway city, round trip transportation, 6-day ski pass, minimally with buffet breakfast, final night in a 5-star hotel with buffet breakfast, all taxes & service|
|January 25 – February 1|
|Inn at Lost Creek (4*), Telluride – Junior suite with fireplace, Jacuzzi & ski back: $2,420.00/person||Hotel Lagacio (4*), San Cassiano, Italy – In an eco-friendly suite with kitchenette, spa with Jacuzzi & hot tub: $2,275.00.00/person|
|February 1 – 22|
|The Limelight (4* Superior), Aspen – Deluxe king double, pool, hot tub, ski concierge & valet: $3,435.00/person||Châlet d’Adrien (5*), Verbier, Switzerland – Relais & Châteaux ski back hotel, standard double, spa with infinity pool, whirpool & hamman: $ 2,990.00 per/person|
|March 7 – 14|
|Hotel Park City (4*) – Park City – An executive suite with kitchenette, pool Jacuzzi, on the golf course: $3,475.00||Hotel Christiana (5*), Val d’Isère, France – Ski-in, ski-out location, in standard double with five-course dinner, pool & extensive spa faciities: $2,690.00|