Due to a lack of snow, the Sattel-Hochstuckli ski area is shutting down its large lifts. The locals are shocked.
The Sattel-Hochstuckli ski area in the canton of Schwyz is 1,600 meters above sea level. In times of climate change, this location has long since ceased to guarantee snow. Often it is even too warm for the snow cannons.
lack of understanding among shareholders
The board of directors therefore decided after the last – too green – season to switch off two of the three ski lifts. Only the beginner’s lift should remain. The area is realigning its strategy accordingly. In winter, it wants to concentrate on “gentle and natural” offers and on newcomers to skiing in the future, experienced winter sports enthusiasts have to go elsewhere.
The decision to close the ski lifts alienated many locals. Resistance formed: a community of interests demanded that the decision be reversed. The two sides met on Wednesday at the General Assembly of the Sattel Hochstuckli AG.
Two successful skiers
More than 500 shareholders gather in the temporary marquee. The mood is charged. Many of them react with disbelief to the new orientation of “their” ski area. «I still remember when the chairlift was put into operation. Since then, I’ve always been skiing up here,” says one man. A woman adds: «I learned to ski here. I don’t see why you want to switch off the lifts.”
Our financial possibilities are exhausted. We wouldn’t survive a second winter like this.
There are emotional arguments against the closure of the ski lifts. Sattel-Hochstuckli can look back on more than 70 years of history, which has also produced two ski stars, Fabienne Suter and Nadja Styger. Both stood on the podium several times in the Ski World Cup, four times even on top.
begging at the bank
Now the ski resort is at a turning point. Attempts by the interest group to reverse the decision came to nothing at the AGM. The Board of Directors emphasizes that such strategic decisions are its responsibility and not that of the General Assembly. The bill is approved despite the loud criticism and the deficit of over 160,000 francs.
Board President Martin Ulrich says that they simply had no choice but to stop the ski lifts. “Our financial options are exhausted, at the end of the season we had to beg at the bank. We wouldn’t survive a second winter like this.” The municipality of Sattel, a major shareholder, supports the strategy of the board of directors.
Extraordinary GM is possible
So far, the Sattel Hochstuckli AG has been able to subsidize the bad winters with the summer and autumn business. “This winter that was no longer possible, we had to take measures”. says the chairman of the board. He understands the emotional reactions of the shareholders. “That hurts. I also learned to ski here.». These are dramatic measures, but from a business point of view there is no other way.
However, this is not the very last word on this matter. The interest group, which is committed to the preservation of all ski lifts, is considering demanding an extraordinary general meeting. What is most important for the IG at the moment is that all those involved sit together and look for possible solutions together.