Swissinfo.com reports that Cantons Uri and Graubünden have approved the expansion at Andermatt proposed by an Egyptian tycoon.
Samih Sawiris is investing some $1 billion in the resort, with over 1000 hotel rooms, apartments and villas due to be available by the 2013/14 winter sports season.
The expanded ski area will extend to 100 kilometres of runs and connect Andermatt with Sedrun. Eighteen new ski lifts and cable cars are mooted with key new lifts including connections between:
- Andermatt’s new Hotel Chedi to Nätschen
- Hospental to Gemsstock
- Göschenen to Nätschen-Gütsch
Environmetal concerns have put many other Alpine expansion plans on hold, and there has been some environmental opposition to aspects of Sawiris’s plans, but the economic benefits to the communities either side of the Oberalp Pass swayed the authorities in favour of the plans. The strong franc does not appear to have dented his enthusiasm either with reports from Andermatt Swiss Alps AG that the development is progressing ahead of schedule.