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No more preferential deals for Serre Chevalier locals

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
another scheme bites the dust, geezernaires will have to stump up full rate plus subsidise local kids through their taxes

https://www.ledauphine.com/culture-loisirs/2022/11/13/plus-de-tarifs-preferentiels-sur-les-forfaits-de-ski-pour-les-locaux-mais-des-aides-de-la-municipalite

Quote:
It is the abandonment of a special regime: the end of ski passes at preferential rates for “locals” as they say. Just as the price of a metro ticket is the same for everyone whether you are from Paris or Haut-Alpin, the French State has asked ski lift operators to apply the same price list for all its customers. , without distinction, in order to respect the principle of equality.

A blow for the inhabitants of the valley who will have to ski less often or pay more than usual. Added to this is the end of the five-day non-consecutive pass, which is no longer marketed by Serre Chevalier Vallée (SCV).

However, a tolerance is still granted to alpine ski passes reserved for schoolchildren but only up to 20 years old. Refusing that students aged 21 to 25 be deprived of easy access to the ski area, the municipality of Saint-Chaffrey has decided to partially cover the purchase of the season pass for these young skiers.

For children attending school in the town (from CP to CM2), the season pass remains free, with the town hall paying the 50 euros for the season pass. Ditto for middle and high school students and young students up to and including 20 years of age, of whom at least one of the parents has his main and tax residence in Saint-Chaffrey.

For primary school students not enrolled in the municipality, a contribution of 50 euros is requested from families.

For students aged 21 to 25 whose main and tax residence (or failing that that of one of their parents) is established in Saint-Chaffrey: a contribution of 150 euros is required; the purchase cost for the municipality amounting to €855.
“The practice of alpine skiing is an integral part of our tradition”

“Beyond the coming season, the municipality will make every effort to preserve the access of children in the country to the practice of alpine skiing. Through this emblematic activity, it is a question of allowing the younger generations to discover their environment, the transmission of mountain values ​​while promoting the emergence of a pool of mountain professionals and high-level athletes, without that the price of the passes is not an obstacle to the practice. The practice of alpine skiing is an integral part of our tradition, our art of living in the mountains, our identity and our economy”, comments the mayor of Saint-Chaffrey Corinne Chanfray.
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@davidof, Get the skins out, ignore the lifts and hike up, or pay up and ski with the yoof.

Or ski somewhere else, if all do so they'll soon realise they are missing out, Gen Z spend nothing on the hill, older folks do. Personally I've never understood why locals get to ski cheaper anyway, I don't get cheap train tickets, entry into my local cinema, swimming pool or restaurant in UK because i'm local. If i'm visiting why do I have to subsidise locals, good for them, one price for all.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@davidof, they've stopped the loyalty scheme for second home owners too, so we no longer get loyalty points when we buy season passes or other lift passes. There was also a loyalty card to give to guests. Usually added up over the season to enough for a week or so free pass for a family member or friend.
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@davidof, that's only half the issue in the valley, I thought on seeing your thread it was going to be how the Lift Operating Company, Compagnie des Alpes, were ripping us Geezonaires off with this season's pricing Laughing

It's frustrating especially now as here is our main residence, but then not all the communes in the Valley offered discounts to locals.

Apart from Serre Chevalier, Compagnie des Alpes operate other resorts such as Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne etc

https://www.compagniedesalpes.com/marques

Those resorts are still offering early pre-season discounts for season passes, whereas Serre Che aren't, and to add salt to the wound they've increased the pricing, though they try to fiddle it by saying they haven't, but it means, last season I paid circa €750 and this season it's close to €1,025 Twisted Evil

One reason I've heard is that Serre Che Electricity contract expired this year whereas the others still have 2 years to run??

The only sweetner is that the season pass does include the Joy app, which means we can bypass all the queues including French ski schools, and that in High Season and on a Powder day is nigh on priceless Very Happy
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Quote:

Personally I've never understood why locals get to ski cheaper anyway

+1 Reductions for people who ski a lot locally make business terms. Hence some good prices for season passes, especially bought well in advance, which is good for the cash flow. I don't buy the argument that local people spend more in bars and restaurants. I spend more when well away from home than I do when I'm at home with my excellent cooking facilities, a freezer full if nice things, a decent stock of wine and several supermarkets within reach. I also spend a lot more when I'm on my own than back in the days when I had to buy for a hungry family. So reductions for older skiers probably make sense too - less time cluttering up the lifts, more time sitting in the warm with something tasty, stay away in peak school holiday lifts. Obviously there are exceptions to all these rules, but the resorts have to work out their business plan for the average punters.

I've always struggled to understand lift pass pricing policies though. Why charge the same for a week at New Year as for the following week when the pistes are empty? Accommodation prices are highly sensitive to elasticities of demand, but not lift passes.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

Personally I've never understood why locals get to ski cheaper anyway

+1 Reductions for people who ski a lot locally make business terms. Hence some good prices for season passes, especially bought well in advance, which is good for the cash flow. I don't buy the argument that local people spend more in bars and restaurants. I spend more when well away from home than I do when I'm at home with my excellent cooking facilities, a freezer full if nice things, a decent stock of wine and several supermarkets within reach. I also spend a lot more when I'm on my own than back in the days when I had to buy for a hungry family. So reductions for older skiers probably make sense too - less time cluttering up the lifts, more time sitting in the warm with something tasty, stay away in peak school holiday lifts. Obviously there are exceptions to all these rules, but the resorts have to work out their business plan for the average punters.

I've always struggled to understand lift pass pricing policies though. Why charge the same for a week at New Year as for the following week when the pistes are empty? Accommodation prices are highly sensitive to elasticities of demand, but not lift passes.


That's an argument for keenly priced season passes rather than discounts for locals though. The locals are going to be the ones going home for a late lunch rather than noshing it up on the hill or in local restos.

As for the why not gouge people in peak weeks? Well they are already undesirable for reasons of crowding so arguably the product is worse value already. But with digital passes I fear the algos taxing skiers for their misfortune are not going to be far behind. I bet its not going to manifest in cheaper passes across teh board off peak beyond very selective promos.
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There used to be cheaper passes in SC during January, and they still exist in early and late season, when all of the resort or lifts may not be open. It's not much of a discount though. Accommodation agencies and tour operators can still get discounts on passes, but they dont' all pass them onto their clients.
There was always a financial benefit to buying your pass early, of about 30%, which seems to have vanished. I'm looking through old emails, prices listed will be after discount.
843€ (Serre Che Addict) 2017/2018
698€ (Evasion) 2018/2019
705,20€ (Evasion) 2019/2020

I think they then stopped the Evasion for 2021 and 2022, as we had an Addict pass for last winter, which we had refunded when we weren't able to travel last Christmas. Pass price we paid was 734€ last winter, but I think they had heavily discounted the Addict pass and not issued the ordinary 'no frills' one because of the pandemic and the need to get the punters back on the slopes. It was very good value for that amount and had a guaranteed refund, which we took advantage of. I guess they need to make up the money they lost somehow, but it does stick in the throat when other areas run by CDA are still offering earlybird discount. We won't be bothering with the pass at all, as we're not likely to be taking advantage of the summer pass and with a new puppy, our skiing days may be lesss frequent and/or shorter. I'll use Ski a la Carte I think, although then there is the lack of a half day pass to take into account.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
There was never a scheme for "locals" in Serre Chevalier, just an early bird discount price on the regular season pass......
I think there was a discount for people working on the mountain and our commune, St Chaffrey had a bit of a discount on the pass, but not as good as the early bird which has now sadly disappeared.... Mad
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We always had early bird season passes in the Espace Diamant - a very good buy, but available for all comers. As for "gouging" prices in holiday weeks this is just a straightforward business decision. There are many weeks in the year when slopes and lifts are deserted, very few customers for the restaurants and bars. To me it would make sense to offer incentives to get people out on those quiet slopes, and have demand-elastic pricing. To use emotive language like "gouging" strikes me as a bit odd, when the whole of the rest of the ski industry (and travel generally) works that way.

Skiers really shouldn't grumble at ways resorts work to make their offering more competitive. If they don't make money, nobody will ski.
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Quote:
SCV is a public service delegation, qualified as an industrial and commercial public service. We must meet two specific conditions. The first, the principle of equal treatment of users and the second, the justification of all freebies and highly discounted prices. The Regional Court of Auditors and the DGCCRF consider discriminatory pricing for the same product applied only to certain categories of customers.

We are therefore no longer able to offer a special rate for people who work in the resort.

You have several possibilities to enjoy our ski area:

· Buy a season pass knowing that we have reduced the public price of the Season Pass (Ski Unlimited;) by 18% and the price of the Addict season pass by 25% compared to the public prices without early booking of last year.

· Subscribe to the Holiski product which allows you to ski at a preferential rate every day of the season (from 14 to 50% discount)

· Buy a 1 and 2 day(s) pass on our OUIK platform (opening of the site in about ten days) when it is a group of 4 people minimum and 8 people maximum. The more you are, the cheaper it is. Know that a Facebook group exists so that you can create groups of 8 in order to benefit from a very advantageous package.
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@davidof, Exactly, the only locals discount was for workers and as I said, the commune of St Chaffrey. LynnX and I are going to a meeting with the Maire of St Chaffrey Saturday morning for another matter and I'll bring the subject up at the same time
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davidof wrote:
.......· Buy a season pass knowing that we have reduced the public price of the Season Pass (Ski Unlimited;) by 18% and the price of the Addict season pass by 25% compared to the public prices without early booking of last year......



Like I said above "....other resorts are still offering early pre-season discounts for season passes, whereas Serre Che aren't, and to add salt to the wound they've increased the pricing, though they try to fiddle it by saying they haven't, but it means, last season I paid circa €750 and this season it's close to €1,025 Twisted Evil"

We haven't paid anywhere near €1,000 for a lift pass in the last three or four years!!

I think Serre is unique in that the vast majority of visitors are French compared to the big high-altitude ski resorts, even before COVID there were hardly any big UK Tour Ops here and zero Dutch & only one Scandi op but that was small. Belgians travel independently, as obviously so do the French, though buying into the likes of Odalys & Pierre Vacances.

Over the last four or five years, there's been a big increase in Eastern Europeans brought in by coach in the less busy periods and they are very much budget travellers, stocking up on booze etc in the supermarkets before they come up into the resort.

I've been nagging with a mate who has around 12 apartments below me and so far he's not been able to source a discounted Tour Op season pass! Another friend who has a hotel and a number of apartments in Le Bez didn't know about the price increase and was horrified, I think her Ex works for CDA so I might find out more.

And interestingly, with our contacts in Serre Che Press Office via Style Altitude there, it seems that there is zero liaison between them and SCV.

And finally, there's now a new website to buy your lift pass, and your previous login details do not work, so you have to register again, now is that because they don't want you accessing your account details and seeing what you previously paid over the last five or so years ?

I know I don't use the lifts as much as other people do, but this really is a bitter pill to swallow, especially when I hear what mates have paid for the whole of Chamonix via the early season discount!

Rant over rolling eyes
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I really don't see the problem. Euro season passes used to break even around 20 days. This price seems around that threshold. For people who live in the area should be a doddle to knock at least 20 days off.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Weathercam, and I don't blame you for the rant one bit. I think they've scored an own goal with the lack of early bird discounts.
I seem to remember that full price passes if bought after the early bird closing date were over €1k before Covid. Mine were all bought with the EB discount, and prices above would indicate that I bought them before the 31st October last year, and the email says this " 30% off the public rate, and the advantages of Addict Season pass free".
That suggests a full price pass would have been 954€ last winter on 1st November. I guess their line is that they were only offering one pass last winter and added in the advantages of the Addict pass as a freebie to tempt you back into buying a season pass.
Our previous Addict pass was for 2018- I don't have the email with the % discount offered but assuming it was similar, then it would have been €1098 if bought after offer ended (which I think may have been 31st August, as I bought it on 28th).

We're just going to use the Ski a La Carte, which included &joy last season, although I haven't investigated it for next.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
In La Plagne/Les Arcs (and i think some other Tarentaise resorts) the cessation of locals discount has resulted in significant reduction in Season Pass for the rest of us.
Down from €734 last season to €584 this season Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Dave of the Marmottes, do the Math - €734 last season, this season €1,025 and if those % increases were applied elsewhere in your day-to-day existence then I'm pretty sure you too would be mildly incensed.

And this is all before they use the Green Washing excuse to slow the lifts down, not use snow canons and not bash the pistes!

And as @Hells Bells, mentioned the beginning and end of the season a fair % of lifts and pistes are closed anyway.

And just looking back at 2019 we'd already been touring 6x so far in November
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Jonpim, and that's the same fecking Company that runs SC Twisted Evil
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Quote:

Apart from Serre Chevalier, Compagnie des Alpes operate other resorts such as Tignes, Les Arcs, La Plagne etc

https://www.compagniedesalpes.com/marques

Those resorts are still offering early pre-season discounts for season passes, whereas Serre Che aren't, and to add salt to the wound they've increased the pricing, though they try to fiddle it by saying they haven't, but it means, last season I paid circa €750 and this season it's close to €1,025 Twisted Evil

Les Arcs is not offering an early purchase discount this year (they did in the past) but have reduced their prices significantly. As @Jonpim, pointed out an essentials pass for Les Arcs is now under 600€ for those of us over 65. They have also introduced a season pass permitting 1 or 2 days out of any 7 for 365€ for any 2 days essentials pass down to 252€ for a classic 1 day pass. These include unlimited use of the funicular. This neatly sidesteps the cheep pass for locals concept since apart from residents of the the Tarrentaise and perhaps as far away as Chamberey who else is going to buy it (seasonaires possibly).
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Weathercam wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, do the Math - €734 last season, this season €1,025 and if those % increases were applied elsewhere in your day-to-day existence then I'm pretty sure you too would be mildly incensed.



Lots of similar price increases over the past year. Energy, food etc.

I just find it a bit ironic that people who are quite happy to drop 1000s on bike bits to cycle up a hill slightly faster are so incensed by losing a discount on something that takes them up a hill thousands of times in a season.

What is the breakeven against day passes that the rest of us mugs have to pay?
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
.....Lots of similar price increases over the past year. Energy, food etc.....


What 40+%*

And you're neglecting the posts that @johnE, @Jonpim, have made, hence our frustration at the situation, no one likes to think that they are getting ripped off.

And can't see your point about what I pay for bike, that's all relative, I'll be just as annoyed if I suddenly found there were increases of 40% (though bike parts have gone up as well), but then I can choose not to upgrade or not, not the same with lifts is it?


* energy maybe in certain cases
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Easy solution - move to Les Arcs/ La Plagne if it's really that important to you. Or maybe organise all the locals to boycott passes completely this year and all earn their turns with you. I'm prety sure you'd love that wink

And yes food price inflation is easily 40% on some stuff. 4 pint milk last year £1.15 now £1.65+
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Used tactically there are good discounts open to all by using ski ala carte. There are dates on there with 50% discount

https://www.skialacarte.fr/FrontOffice/serre-chevalier
Discounted subscription as well SKI A LA CARTE €1 instead of €29 thanks to the code WELCOME before December 1st, 2022. EDIT: Maybe this code is only for La Plagne


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Tue 15-11-22 17:28; edited 1 time in total
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@boredsurfin, I tried the discount code for a new account, and it didn't work at all.
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Weathercam wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
.....Lots of similar price increases over the past year. Energy, food etc.....


What 40+%*



I think it is the same effect as when you see something - say new skis - on a deal at 300 euros and you look back later and they've gone up to 450. Even though the 150 is peanuts in the global scheme of things it is always difficult to swallow the difference.

Just as if I can't find petrol today and have to pay 20 centimes more tomorrow, because the tax break has ended, I'll be annoyed.
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@Hells Bells, oh, that's from Edenski so maybe only for La Plagne?
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@boredsurfin, ohh, that's a point, SC are too stingy to give anything away at the moment. It doesn't matter where you use your pass, maybe if I put in La Plagne it might work, although I might be concerned I would need to activate it there first. I know the SC one asks where you usually commence your ski day.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
All the resorts will start getting their act together after the fairness rule . In April I’d expect most resorts to start offering heavily discounted season ski passes for the following season for a small window possibly with spread payments obviously aimed at locals but available to all .
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Quote:

fairness rule

I missed this one, what is it about?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@snowheid, basically from what I can understand and I’m sure I will be corrected if wrong , the French parliament has brought in a rule that other parts of the country cannot be discriminated against when buying services , so using the case of Sainte Foy where I have an apartment the commune owns the lift system locals who have lived there in their principal resident could buy a heavy discounted season lift pass for about €180 .This has now been deemed to be unfair to for instance people from Brittany and has to be offered to everyone , Now locals have to pay full price . This will lead to quite discounted early bird sales in future but open to all .
I understand that there is also problems with other discounted services such a cheaper parking in Tignes .
This has obviously caused a lot of resentment.
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@Rob Mackley, Not sure that it is a French directive, Monterosa ski isn't offering early bird or any discounting on any tickets either.
My feeling that it has more to do with trying to cover the energy price hike this year.
Hitting season passes is just picking low hanging fruit as those that buy them will buy them those that dial in for a few days won't be put of by such a price hike and should still go.
No point in aiming anger at the resorts just say a little prayer for Putin.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Rob Mackley wrote:
@snowheid, basically from what I can understand and I’m sure I will be corrected if wrong , the French parliament has brought in a rule that other parts of the country cannot be discriminated against when buying services


Well kind of, the rule was brought in, in 1789!

The lift company is a public service and lifts are public transport. This has had advantages for the companies in the past in terms of debt and subsidies but it also means you have to offer the same discounts to everybody. This has been the case for years but many resorts ignored the rules. The Chancellery Court (french equiv) and competitions watchdog has clamped down on this recently and resorts have fallen into line. The whole thing goes way back as this ancient article confirms

https://pistehors.com/news/ski/comments/0645-cheap-lift-passes-for-locals-ruled-illegal/

Now what you can do is negotiate a commercial deal, say you buy 500 lift passes you may get a 30% discount, you could then pass this on. This is what has happened in Val d'Isère. with the Locals association but you need the capital to buy 500 passes and risk not selling them. In Val d'Isère case the town hall has backstopped the club.

The Geezonaires of Serre Chavalier could do the same.
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Markymark29 wrote:
Personally I've never understood why locals get to ski cheaper anyway


Because business. Running a ski resort is a highly politicized thing. You need local support at all the steps of the way. And while some locals may heavily profit from a resort being there, others may not so much. Why not handing out well appreciated freebies which actually cost the company next to nothing?
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