On the 25th November 2016 the Prefecture de Savoie gave the green light to an ambitious project that intends to bring skiing to Tignes 365 days a year via the construction of a snow dome. These plans have met with opposition. Last week locals and residents drew up a petition calling for the mayor to reconsider.
The 62Million euro “Ski-Line” project would see the construction of a glass and metal hall on the race course that runs alongside the Tichot chairlift in Val Claret. In Winter real snow would be pushed in from outside, and in Summer (or times of little snowfall) artificial snow would be created by snow canons at night within the dome. The complex would also house a standing surf wave and a restaurant. Read more about the proposal here.
The Mayor of Tignes, Jean-Christophe Vitale, said the project is about sustaining the resort’s economic competitiveness. The Grande Motte glacier of Tignes is diminishing.- over 30% of the skiable glacier has disappeared over the last 17 years.
Our Glacier won’t last forever. -Mayor Jean-Christophe Vitale
Mayor Vitale sees “Ski-Line” as the answer to preserving the resort’s claim of having Year Round skiing, while also adding to the menu of sporting activities on offer in direct response to the increasingly demanding tourism industry.
.The petition calls on Mayor Vitale to organise a public referendum on the subject. It states that at the time of his election no mention of such a proposal was mentioned, and therefore a vote should be held in order to uphold democracy, and the best interests of the townspeople. Those in opposition to “Ski-Line” fear that the project will become a “real financial burden for the municipality”, and some go as far as to describe it as unnatural and an abhorrence.
“We must preserve Tignes, the beautiful landscape, the mountains, the environment … Let’s look at the past: Tignes has already changed in recent decades, not always for the best … the fault of a thirst for grandeur. Let’s react this time. Let us thirst but preserve our origins. Let’s find the real “Tignes” of which we are (in my opinion) far removed. We must respect its framework far too distorted in the past.” Tignes local, Mathieu Navillod, wrote in comment after signing the petition.
The petition has so far achieved 220 signatures and is looking for 500 in total to take to the Mayor. Petition creators have asked that only home owners, residents and those directly involved with Tignes support the petition, keeping it a local matter to debate.
What happens from this point on remains to be seen. Will The Mayor respond to the petition? It seems that there are some strong opinions out there, so one would hope so. Whether or not the project will actually go ahead depends not only on this opposition from Tignards, but also on the proposal gaining the €62million from investors needed to fund the project.
Watch this space!
21st January 2017 UPDATE- A public assembly will be held on Monday 23d January 2017 in Tignespace at 7pm where the Ski-Line project will be officially presented.