The winter 2019-2020 season came to a very abrupt and unexpected end.

Like many, when the Corona Virus story first hit the news, we didn’t foresee that it would gather such pace and lead to the abandonment of what was a great season for us. We would like to thank all of our wonderful guests for supporting Summit Special and choosing Chalet Gentiane as the venue for your winter holiday. It has been a pleasure to welcome first time visitors and welcome back those that have stayed with us before.

We must give a massive thank you to our amazing team of hosts, Jo, Ray and Ady. Once again you delivered a great all round holiday experience. The messages in the visitor book and the messages we receive are a testament to you hard work. You even managed to win a Bar Bush quiz, a huge improvement on last year! J

We will have our end of season bash when we can all meet up again.

The travel industry and the local community in all holiday resorts have been hit very hard by the measures to combat the virus, along with all of those who have had their holidays cancelled.  A devastating blow to all concerned but in the context of the suffering the virus has brought to so many, it is very hard to feel sorry for ourselves.

Saturday the 14th March turned out to be a very long day. We had a group of 15 friends arriving on Sunday the 15th, 4 of whom had already travelled to Geneva on the Saturday to meet the rest of the group who arrived on Sunday morning (they wanted to avoid the 6am flight!!). The group had been in regular contact leading up to the Saturday and by late afternoon, it looked like the trip would go ahead.

Image Credit C.V. Ducretter OT Les Gets

The closure of all bars, restaurants and none essential businesses led to the subsequent closure of ski resorts across France within a two hour period on Saturday evening.  The situation regarding holidays then started to evolve very rapidly. As we are mainly based in the UK throughout the season, the news was coming through from our colleagues in Les Gets. Particular thanks must go to the fantastic team at Morzine Source Magazine who did an incredible job of keeping us posted and sharing up to date verified information. Fortunately, our guests in Geneva were also glued to the TV news as the story unfolded and kept us bang up to date. As a result we were able to liaise with the rest of the group who then decided against travelling out. The Geneva 4 were also able to get flights home first thing on Sunday morning before all the empty seats sold out!

Our departing guests, a group of 16 from Scotland, all left as planned on Sunday morning and were able to get home without too much disruption.

At Summit Special, we have been very lucky. Our guests who were unable to take their holidays are working with us to find a mutual agreeable resolution to this situation, I know that this has not been the case for many of our colleagues. We are very grateful for the understanding of our guests, it means a great deal to us.

Jo, Ray and Ady worked incredibly hard to clean the chalet well enough for closure. A huge thanks goes to Blanchiserrie Transalpine in Le Biot who turned our laundry around in mega quick time. Like many other operators and hotels, we were able to give our left over food to those in need locally so it did not go to waste.

Our journey home usually involves bringing home some of our unused stocks of wine and beer to help see us through the summer.  The rapid nature of our departure meant that this wasn’t possible, however, as I was leaving the chalet, I did walk passed our toilet roll store. As the toilet roll shortage had well and truly set in back home, I couldn’t resist loading up a few packets to see us through the crisis!! I’m not sure that I’ve ever carried such a precious cargo J

By Monday evening, Team Summit Special were on the road to Calais.  Les Gets was closed, Chalet Gentiane was closed and the season was over. But we will ski again, and we look forward to welcoming you to Chalet Gentiane next season.

Stay safe everyone.