What a US takeover of a Swiss resort could mean for skiing in the Alps

However, Sawiris has long believed that Andermatt needed a strategic ski operator to take it to the next level. Enter Vail Resorts, which is now in charge. What does this mean for European skiing?

For years, Vail Resorts has set the benchmark for skiing in North America, becoming renowned for its exceptional customer service, impeccable maintenance, well-organized lift lines and excellent ski schools. But this season has been marked by unhappiness from Vail employees on the field, with numerous complaints about wages and conditions.

As for skiers, lesson prices at Vail ski schools are three times higher than at top European resorts, with a one-day private lesson costing $1,222 (£930) compared to CHF420 (£320) in Andermatt – a cost that is difficult to justify when the instructors are paid at the same level as their European counterparts. There are fears that Vail’s expansion in Europe will lead to increased loads in Andermatt and beyond.

It also remains to be seen whether Vail’s arrival will impact the Swiss resort’s dining and entertainment facilities. North American mountain villages are not renowned for their fine dining, with a preference for large self-service canteen-style restaurants, in stark contrast to European boutique family mountain restaurants.