The operators of an Austrian ski centre are reported to have asked local authorities for permission not to operate this winter due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Axamer Lizum is one of the ski areas close to Innsbruck, it was a venue for downhill racing at successive Innsbruck Winter Olympic Games and is included on the Innsbruck regional ski pass.
Reports in The Tyrolean newspaper say that the centre’s operators have submitted an application to the Tyrolean state government for exemption from operating this winter, which it is otherwise legally required to do.
The reasons for the request are reported to include travel bans or restrictions coming in to force from countries from which skiers usually arrive, compensation claims from the epidemic law, and other virus-related factors which the operators believe make a greater financial loss from operating this winter inevitable.
The move has not gone down well with locals, who argue that most of the centre’s business is in fact from local people anyway and that many businesses in resort would be severely damaged if the centre did not open.
Local skiers are also unhappy that the centre has not mentioned any intention not to open and is selling advanced 20-21 season lift passes.
Worries have also been expressed that if permitted more centres might follow Axamer Lizum’s lead.
Crisis meetings are taking place over the next few days with the aim of keeping the centre operating this winter.
Generally most large to medium ski areas worldwide do appear to be intending to open for the season, and more than a dozen already have…
Only a few centres are known to be skipping their 20-21 seasons including a small US centre where the centre’s owners already had major financial issues that have been exacerbated by the virus pandemic, and a small Swiss centre which normally focussed on group bookings from race teams and youth groups.