Laurent Wauquiez will unveil, this Thursday in the resort of Grand-Bornand (Haute-Savoie), his idea of a “mountain plan 2”. The president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, who gave an interview to the Dauphiné Liberated, promises a project of 100 million euros, in order to make the region “the first sustainable mountain in Europe”. The main idea carried by Laurent Wauquiez is to “tend towards zero emission stations”.
From 10 to 20 million euros will go to innovative projects that will support the environmental transition of stations such as “less consuming public lighting, the acquisition of hydrogen groomers or the installation of photovoltaic panels on snow cannons. “. The AURA region also intends to work on the offer of snow-free resorts with “sledges on rails, Himalayan footbridges or fun equipment, which will also be usable in summer”, with “15 million euros spent in this direction” .
“The breakage was limited” with the emergency plan of 400 million euros
Appropriations will also go to the renovation of accommodation and holiday centers, to “valley lifts” and to the discovery of skiing for young people. Small mid-mountain resorts will be allocated a specific budget of 5 million euros. Laurent Wauquiez welcomed the fact that the emergency plan of 400 million euros in loans and aid for the mountains, put in place last winter in the context of the closure of ski lifts due to Covid-19, made it possible to face a “considerable threat” to the local economy. “The breakage was in any case limited. Our emergency plan was there to save businesses and jobs. We must now look to the future and this is where the new plan comes in, ”he insists.
Asked about the future of skiing in a context of global warming, he emphasizes that “we do not abandon overnight the 100,000 people who make a living from skiing in our region”, and this “especially as skiing has still good days ahead of him ”. “People often oppose tourism and the environment, employment and sustainable development. I don’t want the mountain to be transformed into a native reserve, ”concludes the elected official. Prime Minister Jean Castex unveiled last May in Bourg-Saint-Maurice (Savoie) an investment plan of 650 million euros aimed at diversifying mountain tourism.