French Alps resort
There are over 100 ski resorts across France and the Alps Alex MARTIN/AFP News

A ski resort in France has been forced to shut down permanently after lack of snow reduced its ski season to just a few weeks.

Not very far from the popular Trois Vallees ski area in France, La Sambuy is a small family resort. It was able to open only for a month last season. According to La Sambuy's mayor, Jacques Dalex, the resort "used to have snow practically from Dec. 1 up until March 30".

However, global warming has shrunk its ski season to just a few weeks, meaning it's no longer profitable for the resort to keep running.

La Sambuy is close to Mont Blanc in the French Alps and is some 22 kms from the famous Annecy campsites. During the 2022-23 season, the family-run resort received just four weeks of snow. Even then, there was not much snow, meaning, "very quickly stones and rocks appeared on the piste," added Dalex.

La Sambuy isn't a huge resort, with only three lifts and a small number of skis running up to a peak elevation of 1,850 metres (about 6,070 feet). Since the resort will be able to function for less than five weeks in January and February, it will likely have an operating loss of about €500,000. The mayor of La Sambuy went on to add that operating a resort at an annual cost of €80,000 for such a short stretch of time simply isn't financially viable.

Even though the ski resort which opened in 2016 is now shut, the town will still hope to continue to draw tourists every year. It is also understood that the resort, which promotes itself as a summer hiking and outdoor destination, will change into a location for discovering and protecting nature, going for walks, and playing sports as well.

While La Sambuy was a small resort, it was popular with beginners and families looking to make the most of its relatively cheap ski passes.

Nevertheless, the closing of La Sambuy is not surprising as in France, there are many ski resorts that are experiencing a crisis. Another small Alpine ski resort, Saint-Firmin, decided to demolish its ski lift last year after noticing that its winter season had shrunk from months to weeks, a situation that was also related to climate change.

As per news reports, a French environmental organisation called Mountain Wilderness has claimed to have demolished 22 ski lifts in France since 2001, and believes there are still 106 ski lifts scattered across 59 sites throughout the country.