Ski Apres & Nightlife Limited But The Lifts Are Operating Through The Holidays
Switzerland is giving skiers a big lift by keeping its ski resorts open and it lifts operating, much to the chagrin of other European countries which have shut down operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Austria, in particular, is irked because it is being pressured by the governments of France, Germany and Italy by banning skiing over the holidays. Austria’s Ischgl was last year called “ground zero” of the first wave of the virus in Europe, leading officials to seek to shut down operations in December into January.
There is a difference, tho, in Austrian ski resorts and those in Switzerland. In Austria, ski apres and nightlife is a huge part of the skiing experience. In Switzerland it’s more about enjoying being on the slopes and spending two hours at various huts on the hills snacking on cheese and sipping schnapps.
In fact, some Swiss resorts are discouraging nightlife by banning bars and restaurants from playing loud music – which officials feel encourages partying – and closing bars at 11 p.m. To the Swiss, skiing itself is an outdoor experience that is as as natural as going for a walk, and because of the prices for hotels, food and drinks, for many it’s a high-end trip.
Plus, many in Switzerland, and that includes the government, simply do not believe that being at a ski resort contributes to the pandemic.
Johan Granvik, who runs a hotel at Audermatt in the Swiss Alps, told the Financial Times that “if you go out on a Saturday morning to the grocery shop, you can’t tell me that’s more dangerous than spending five minutes in a telecabine (gondola) and then being out on the wide-open slopes.”
The Swiss government has announced some restrictions, limiting capacity of enclosed places such as gondolas and train compartments to two-thirds capacity. There are, however, no such limitations on the number of guests at resorts.
In Andermatt, outdoor seating at restaurants has increased two-fold and indoor tables are limited to four people. But the skiing continues on the pists.