How much would you pay for high speed Internet access? 25 bucks? Not if you are one of the nine refuges currently going online in the Vanoise National Park in the Savoie. The project has so far cost a whopping 350,000 euros, paid for by the European Union and the Regional Government.
Refuge Felix Faure, Vanoise National Park
The park says they are responding to demand. Clients are used to booking hotels online so why not refuges? The gardiens also hope it will enable them to work more closely. Many skiers and walkers tour from hut to hut and it is hoped that the system will avoid bottlenecks.
However anyone hoping to check their email or surf their favourite websites will be dissapointed. The system is strictly reserved for the management.
With an aging population French mountain refuges are faced with declining visitor numbers as fewer people walk or make long distance ski tours. The Vanoise Park hopes the new system will attract a younger clientele.