Owners at the small Haute-Savoie ski resort of Drouzin le Mont claim they’ve been ripped off, amongst them Éric Amiet, a lawyer, who is lodging a suit for fraud. “They sold us apartments with skiing and today they tell us the ski area is no longer profitable. In fact the operator ran the area just long enough to flog his ski apartments. Now there is no longer constructable terrain they are talking about recurring losses, it is a con.”
If the ski area closes the apartments will lose between 30 to 50% of their value and it will be hard to rent as guests want skiing from their door, not 40 minutes away on snow covered roads.
Other residents agree with Mr Amiet. Jean-Paul Ainoux, former director of the ESF ski school says the solution is for the owners to buy the two chair lifts from Michel Vivien, real-estate promoter and owner of the ski lifts. If these lifts are removed people wont come just for a couple od drag lifts “Once they take the chairs out it will be the end for skiing at Drouzin” continues Mr Ainoux.
The town hall is prepared to buy the two drag lifts at the bottom of the domain. The 180 owners are prepared to buy the chair lifts and ask the town hall to run them. The mayor has a report from Cimes conseil. “if we run the station as it is we will face severe losses of 400 000 € per annum. We also have to buy the lifts and other equipment for 3 600 000 €. It is not possible. To run a drag lift costs around 30 000 € per year”.