Replacement of the cable way in Vercorin – Mathias Schmidt

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(http://www.rhonefm.ch/fr/informations/infos-a-chaud/renouvellement-de-la-telecabine-vercorin-cret-du-midi-prevu-313-47571)

Introduction
The ski resort of Vercorin situated in the Val d’Annivers is changing its cable way for the ski season 2012-2013. The previous cable way of Vercorin was old, had a small capacity of 400 people per hour and there were only 4 places per cable car.
For a ski resort which wants to increase its number of overnight stays, it is important to have a modern infrastructure. The clients have now days much more expectations and since in the Valais there are plenty of other ski resorts with good infrastructures, it’s crucial for Vercoin to stay up to date. If Vercorin isn’t able to offer at least as good services than its competitors, the tourists would not hesitate to move to another destination.

Why was it important to change the cable way?
The Télécabine de Vercorin SA had to change its installation before 2016. The other option would have been to shut-down the traffic of the cable way which would have had terrible consequences for the whole village of Vercorin and also for the commune of Chalais.
The ski resort of Vercorin, like all other destinations in the Alps, is principally dependent on its cable way. The cable ways are the principal value of a destination and attract the most tourists. The summer activity of Vercorin which is an adventure park in the forest depends as well on the cable way since it is the only possibility to reach the park.
It would also have a huge impact on the restaurants and hotels in Vercorin. Such facilities are depending on the clients generated from the cable way. Therefore if there was no cable way, there wouldn’t be a lot of tourists and most of the hotels would have to close. The value of the land would also decrease and all the local businesses wouldn’t generate enough revenue to survive.
With the decision of building this new installation, the resort also makes itself more interesting for investors which are looking to invest in news hotels or apartments. For a destination like Vercorin a few new hotels would be a good thing because its cable way now has the capacity to support more people. With new hotels, not only the cable way would increase its benefit, also the village and its businesses would take profit out of it.

Characteristics of the new installation

• 41-61 cable cars
• 10 places per cable car
• A capacity of 1800 people per hour is possible with 61 cable cars
• The time from Vercorin to the Crêt du midi is 10 minutes

Other changes made at the same time
• The building of a pipe for providing the restaurant with drinking water.
• The renovation of the restaurant
• The covering of new sectors with snow canons
Future projects
Two of the future projects are:
• Replacement of the principal ski lift by a chair lift
• Covering this sector with snow canons
In parallel with the construction of the new cable way, a project of building some residences with 500 beds just next to the departure is planned. Such a project is really important for the development of the resort. Without the new residences, the other project listed just before, are probably never going to take place.

Return on investments
The amortization of the cableway is 4% a year which is a total of 25 years. The amortization of the artificial snowing is 6% which is a total of 17 years.
The income will increase by 2% each year until 2016-2017 and from then on it will increase by around 1% a year. The income of the restaurant will increase as well and that by 5%.
For the future project, the building of 300 new beds would make the income increase by 600’000 CHF each year. This money could help the development of the other future projects.

Risks
One of the risks is that Vercorin isn’t able to attract enough people and therefore the Télécabine de Vercorin SA wouldn’t be able to get their ROI. This would mean that the Commune of Chalais, which is the principle shareholder of the company, would lose money.
Another risk is the lack of snow; Vercorin has no glacier like Saas-Fee which ensures a minimum of snowed slopes. However with the extension of the artificial snowing, Vercorin goes in the right direction to prohibit this issue.

Conclusion
For the good development of the touristic destination of Vercorin, it was crucial to modernise the cable way. Now it is important to take one step at a time and constantly increase the offer without going too fast. Vercorin has to keep its current customers and also has to try to win some new clients without exceeding its capacity.
If they’re able to combine all their knowledge, also about sustainable tourism, the resort of Vercorin is going to have a good future.

Sources
http://www.chalais.ch/template/fs/documents/chalaisInfo/2011-4-ChalaisInfo_SPECIAL.pdf
http://www.12du12.ch/

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