May 22, 2023 / BUYING / RESORTS

Ski Property Buyers Seek Sustainability, Accessibility, and Year-Round Appeal in Alpine Resorts

Figures from the Knight Frank Ski Sentiment Survey show that around 54% of buyers place energy efficiency at the forefront of their property purchase decisions. For this article we will explore this shift towards prioritising sustainability. We’ll look at what makes a ski home sustainable, and the role that aspects like year dual seasonality and accessibility have to play in increasing sustainability and maximising appeal.

Energy efficiency in any property has two significant benefits. It reduces our impact on the planet and reduces our day to day living costs. Ski homes are no exception, and benefit from extensive considerations designed to make them as comfortable and energy efficient as possible.

What to look for in a sustainable ski property

Getting the cleanest energy source is top of the list when it comes to sustainability. Geothermal heating is a great option – it’s renewable and reliable. Look out for properties that have smart tech installed to ensure you never use energy unnecessarily. Many systems offer individual room control which makes each part of the property energy efficient.

Energy savvy ski properties harness the power of their natural resources, using solar panels, wind power and biomass systems. Turbines driven by the powerful Arve river are a valuable energy source for many homes in parts of Chamonix. Whether you’re buying a new build or resale, it’s essential to find out what is in place to maximise energy efficiency.

House for sale in Morzine with 5 Bedrooms and 3 Bathrooms

Look beyond the energy source for a truly sustainable ski home

As well as considering energy sources, many ski properties, particularly newer builds, have various energy saving features. High quality triple glazed windows and energy efficient lighting all help to reduce consumption without sacrificing comfort. Property owners are seeking to ensure energy efficiency across their portfolio to maximise personal comfort, and environmental responsibility.

As a buyer, it’s also important to consider the materials used in your property. New developments are justifiably proud of their eco-credentials – developers choose sustainable FSC timber, locally sourced stone and recyclables as part of their build, all of which go towards reducing our impact.

Ski property buyers want to be close to transport hubs

The Ski Sentiment report highlighted another important factor in buyers’ decision making process – how easy it is to get to the property.

This is three fold. Firstly, it’s simply more practical – a long flight and a long drive are never ideal ways to begin a break - this has always been the case though so why is it so important now? The reason comes down to two significant shifts in lifestyle – hybrid working and increased awareness of transport and its impact on climate crisis.

Choosing somewhere that is easily accessible means it’s possible to get to a meeting or to the office easily when necessary. Choosing a ski area that is in easy reach of a rail hub, such as Three Valleys or Chamonix, makes it much easier to choose a more environmentally responsible means of transport.

Villa for sale in Val-d'Isère with 5 Bedrooms

What steps are resorts taking to become more sustainable?

Skiers are acutely aware of their environment – love of the mountain landscape is at the core of the sport and preserving the natural beauty of a ski area is at the forefront of many resort management plans.

Val d'Isère, for example, has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030, and has implemented a range of measures to achieve this goal. These measures include the use of renewable energy sources, the installation of energy-efficient lighting and heating systems, and the promotion of eco-friendly transportation options such as electric shuttles.

The resort also promotes sustainable tourism practices through its "Val d'Isère forever" initiative, which aims to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage visitors to reduce their environmental impact. Val d’Isere has been awarded the "Flocon Vert" (Green Snowflake) label in recognition of its sustainability efforts. Visitors are encouraged to contribute to these efforts by choosing eco-friendly transportation options, reducing waste, and supporting local businesses that prioritise sustainability.

Over in Switzerland, Davos is regarded as a leader in sustainability and has been awarded the "Best Green Ski Resort" title multiple times.The Davos Klosters Environmental Strategy was launched in 2008 as a comprehensive plan to reduce the environmental impact of the town's tourism industry and promote sustainable development.

The strategy includes measures to reduce energy consumption, promote renewable energy sources, improve waste management, protect natural resources, and increase public awareness and participation in environmental issues. The town also hosts the annual World Economic Forum (WEF), which brings together global leaders to discuss pressing economic, social, and environmental issues, including sustainability and climate change.

The WEF has played a key role in promoting environmental awareness and action in the business and political spheres.

Apartment in Les Gets with 3 Bedrooms and 3 Bathrooms

Dual seasonality and sustainability

The importance of a year round resort has been on many ski property buyers’ radar for several years. When considered in the light of improved sustainability it becomes even more relevant. Choosing to buy a ski home in a resort that offers year round interest opens up a range of possibilities. The ski property has potential to be enjoyed for longer stays, which will reduce transport use and have a positive impact on local economies and communities. 

A ski home in a town that offers year round appeal creates opportunities for a genuine co-primary home, which again reduces transport impact, and helps build stable local communities. Property owners are more aware of their individual role in caretaking their part of these magnificent landscapes, and become part of the sustainability solution. This in turn makes resorts more appealing for new, environmentally focused investment, and ensures existing infrastructure has the financial support to be upgraded to meet sustainability goals.

Chalet Primerose Villars, Vaud, Switzerland

Discover your sustainable ski property

SnowOnly offers access to a vast range of ski properties from new developments to resale. Our extensive range of properties are available through our property portal and our property alert system means you can be sure you will stay up to date with the market. We have a detailed property search facility, which means you can search for your ideal space in the resort that meets your needs and our range of articles help you to make an informed choice about where to buy your new mountain home.