French ski resorts are taking their government to court in a bid to keep ski lifts open this holiday season. Domaines Skiables de France, which represents the resorts, has filed a challenge against the closure order with France’s highest administrative court, the Council of State.
Although resorts are allowed to remain open, President Emmanuel Macron has asked that chairlifts remain closed until at least January to help lower the spread of covid-19, reports Bloomberg. Resorts claim the measure will deny them of the lucrative holiday ski season, costing them billions in lost revenue.
“We want to save the height of the season, which is notably around the holidays from February to March. Therefore, it’s necessary to postpone the start of the season.”
– Junior Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne
A similar legal challenge from bars and restaurants, which have also been ordered to remain closed, was overturned on Tuesday.
France has 350 ski resorts employing more than 120,000 people during the high season and generating an estimated 10 billion euros ($11.9 billion) of revenue each year. About a quarter of that is brought in around Christmas and New Year.
European nations have been divided on whether to close their ski resorts. Andorra, Germany, and Italy have also closed their resorts for the holidays, while those in Austria remain open to locals. In Switzerland, resorts are open to all.
A decision by the Council of State on the lift closures is expected by the end of next week.
France has had 2,324,216 confirmed covid-19 cases and 56,648 deaths with covid.