Andermatt plans on hold again

3rd July 2013, by Abi Butcher

The ski area in Andermatt will be expanded — just not for next season

The ski area in Andermatt will be expanded — just not for next season

Work to expand the Swiss ski resort of Andermatt has been put on hold again, following delays in government approval of the project to expand its ski area and link with nearby Sedrun.

This summer, Andermatt planned to replace the T-bar from the train station at Oberalppass up to Calmut with a high-speed, six-man covered chairlift with heated seats. The lift would form the clockwise link with Sedrun, and mark the first phase of its massive three-year project to link and expand the ski areas.

The ski area expansion is part of a CHF1.8 billion development project by Egyptian property tycoon Samih Sawiris that will transform Andermatt, creating around 37km of new pistes, 490 apartments, 25 luxury chalets, six hotels and an 18-hole golf course.

For that chairlift — and crucial link — to be ready this winter, the ski area plans needed approval by the Swiss Office of Transport by the end of June. But Andermatt’s new spokesman Markus Berger, told WTSS that the final “rubber stamping” is expected later in the year.

“In June we had the penultimate approval required, from the Canton of Uri, after environmental organisations withdrew their objections to the project,” said Mr Berger.

“Now the only uncertainty is the timing — the final licence from the Office of Transport is just a formality. It has all taken so long because never before has a whole new area with 17 new ski lifts had to be licensed.”

Mr Berger said all the ski lifts have now been ordered and contractors are being chosen. Two new magic carpets are being built to eliminate walking for skiers from the train station at Oberalppass to the T-bar, and from the main station in Andermatt to the T-bar taking skiers up to Nätschen. That two-man lift will eventually be replaced with a cable car.

“If we receive final approval sooner rather than later this summer, we can start work on the foundations for the lift stations, but that has to stop when the snow starts to fall,” added Mr Berger.

On 1 October, Andermatt plans to announce specific construction dates for the next three years, and the five-star Chedi Andermatt will open, as planned, on 6 December.


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