SwissInfo reports that the foundation stone has been laid for the huge Andermatt Swiss Alps project, to include hotels, apartments, a sports complex, a conference centre and an 18-hole golf course. The Egyptian billionaire, Samih Sawiris, laid the foundation stone of the project’s centrepiece, its five-star hotel, The Chedi, on 31st August 2010
When finished in 2013, the billion-dollar resort will be the largest of its kind in the Alps, a traffic-free, Co2-neutral development with six hotels, about 20 villas and 490 apartments plus commercial property.
The resort replaces the old military barracks in Andermatt, and hopefully won’t lead to throngs of millionaires queuing to freeride off the Gemsstock.
Airolo, the largest ski resort in Ticino, re-opens this year after being closed for the entire 2009-10 season. Weather permitting, the resort will be open at weekends from 4th December and throughout the week from the 18th December. The resort boasts 30km of piste and is the home ski resort for Lara Gut, amongst others.
After it’s closure, Valbianca SA, financed by the canton and local commune, acquired the Airolo-Pesciüm site at auction for SFr 70,000. Although the facility is estimated as being worth Sfr 7m, it has required a huge investment to bring it up to the standards required to be both safe and attractive to winter sports enthusiasts.
Airolo-Pesciüm lies on the south side of the Gotthard Tunnel and has a rail station, making it a convenient ski resort to get to from Northern Switzerland. The resort is covered by the discounted Swiss Railways Snow’n’Rail scheme, and a complimentary bus service is provided from the rail station during the winter sports season.
The ski region infrastructure comprises one gondola, one chair lift and two surface lifts. The top station is at 2250m and the vertical descent is almost 1200 metres, with the six pistes largely catering for intermediate skiers.