Another day in Happy Valley…with warmer weather and budding trees suggesting that spring finally is on its way.
So too is the tradition of doing some spring skiing, before the thoughts of the denizens of Happy Valley turn completely from schussing down the ski-hill, to boating across Lake Leman to buy various goods in France at a fraction of Swiss prices…
And so your trusted correspondent recently found himself driving off to the glittery slopes of Verbier, much looking forward to a few decent runs and a long, calorific lunch — the warm Vacherin Mont- D’Or is a delight — at Le Dahu.
Approaching the town, the lack of snow in the village did not look promising. But while tempted to seek out support at one of the more recent luxury hotels in town (the resort’s pledge of “Whatever/Whenever®” service had this correspondent wondering whether he could ask for “Some snow/Now, please”), it proved unnecessary as conditions drastically improved as the cable car ascended up to La Chaux.
But a day of merriment was soon undermined over lunch. Your correspondent came across a report in the FT quoting Fritz Zurbrugg, who I understood from the article is a permanent member of the Swiss National Bank’s governing board. Said Fritz, according to the article: “Switzerland is facing difficult times”; “…the stronger Swiss franc will have a noticeable damping effect on economic activity in Switzerland.”
Now, that’s enough to ruin one’s day. I mean, when is the last time the words “Switzerland” and “difficult times” appeared together in one sentence?
Worries of Happy Valley becoming less happy, however, were soon assuaged by a poster campaign witnessed back at the base.
Most reassuring. It seems that in response, I assume, to the strong franc, and given no shortage of nice resorts across the border, Verbier has risen to the challenge.
A discount on the passes!
To communicate this exceptional news, huge posters are plastered across the base, as well as in places as far away as central Lausanne.
And what, dear reader, is this discount?
And only valid if bought online at least 10 days before usage.
Life, at least in Verbier, therefore goes on.
As Alfred E. Newman would say, “What-Me Worry?”