The Winter season is almost upon us. Téléverbier, Verbier’s ski-lift company, has already successfully stoked media interest by pouncing on some early snowflakes and partially opening up for the weekend. According to rental agencies we’ve spoken to, pre-season bookings are healthy and, with a host of new bars and restaurants opening up, there’s a positive, expectant buzz in the air. It was against this propitious backdrop that Joël Sciboz, the latest head of the Verbier tourist office, presented the events and activities planned for the forthcoming season during a meeting for local business owners and interested parties. The meeting was well attended and the atmosphere generally positive.
This year the season’s curtain-raiser is on Saturday, the 6th of December and will be based around the Place Blanche, with entertainment taking place throughout the day. The big sporting news for the resort is its hosting of the Ski-mountaineering world championships in February. The region is home to several world-beating athletes in this discipline and, as media partner, mountain radio verbier will be covering the event in full.
Many of the events and attractions presented at the meeting were what you could call perennials. The big guns are still there: the Verbier Xtreme, Park 9 and the High 5 for example, as well as the smaller more regular activities (night skinning, night sledding, etc). The tourist office has plans for new weekly attractions in the pipeline include ice sculpture, ice discos, an indoor play area, night skiing at les Esserts and apéro-concerts. A Christmas market at the Place Blanche and freestyle on the Rue de Médran were also mooted. At the time of writing these have not been confirmed: more information is expected at the next information session on the 11th of December and we will report in full.
For those expecting an overhaul of the much-criticised official website (www.verbier.ch) we have bad news: it will not be replaced this season. The site has poor navigation, and it’s difficult to find out what events are taking place throughout the season (the Téléverbier site has a basic calendar of events here) and all the main stakeholders of the resort agree that it isn’t fit for purpose. The tourist office has decided instead to concentrate on releasing an updated Smartphone app for this season. Their view is that the current Website will suffice until sometime in 2015.