Irrespective of the perceived rights and wrongs of locals getting discounted passes I do think we should all step back a bit and think about the value you can get from a skipass. In Alpe d’Huez, for example, an annual adult Visalp pass gives you access to all the areas lifts for Winter Skiing (200+km of piste), and Summer Mountain Biking, free access to the sports centre, swimming pools. ice rink etc. All this for 700€, £500 or less with family disconts etc. This equates to 50 hours on a dry ski slope in the UK ! Fantastic value.
I am no different from most other people, I am sure, in wanting as much as possible for the lowest price but I have to say I don’t have a problem with those sort of prices.
It’s not about value. It’s about people who work and live in the ski resorts. Normally, they get minimum wage, have to pay overpriced accomodation costs and precious little time to ski.
I’m not talking about sponsored jobs i.e. people who come to work, get accomodation lift pass etc.
The Luz lift pass sale was available for two days only at 135 euros, not a bad price, but only word of mouth advertised the dates and then 3 or 4 days in advance. The dates being the middle of the week in off season - before any seasonaires had arrived and also when many of the locals were away on holiday. Valley discounts available in Bareges - the price is now comparible if you missed the ‘sale’.
Furthermore the price, outside of the sale, is now prohibative or simply not worth it for those that may only get 10 days or half days skiing.
The point is that SNCF get family discounts on trains, EDF give discounts to staff on electricity and the list goes on. Why can’t communities in mountain villages support the people who make it happen for all the holidaymakers?
Not only do locals get crappy job wages for the most part (unless they are business owners), but also the fact that the town councils (and thus our local taxes) must pay for the increased infrastructure such as wider and improved roads, larger shopping markets that are only kept full in ‘high season’ (so thus higher prices year ‘round for all), putting up fancy decorations, advertising etc. - all that a ski resort requires. So to me the only one benefitting from skiing in a monetary way is the company that runs it and some of the local shops with increased business - but the average local who is not a shop owner certainly deserves a break in the price due to the extra taxes one pays to make the town big enough to support the tourists which the lift company wishes to attract.
Let’s not forget by the way that Mountain guides and ski instructors also get reduced price passes (last year for Chamonix year-round it was something under 200€ I believe) - so are these also ‘illegal’ - seems just silly! Who would want to punish the mountain guides? How then do you differ that discount from local residents? This sounds like a lot of sour grapes coming from secondary residents - many of whom I must say are actually full time residents who simply avoid paying their taxes in France - the good thing about the GDP card here is that you were required to show proof of income tax payment in town as well as taxe fonciere - therefore showing you helped support the infrastructure of the town - before being given GDP status. This also gets one discounts on buses and SNCF as well as to the local sports center/swimmiing pool - will all that then also be required to stop? Again just plain silliness to punish the locals who are already struggling to afford to continue living in the town where they were born or grew up for the most part - these people are not all rich and certainly deserve to be able to afford to keep skiing in their home town!